Quarantine change comes as Foreign Office ends ban on international cruise travel
The UK government has announced that EU and US travellers who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to isolate when coming to England, Scotland or Wales from an amber list country
The lifting of the restriction will come into effect at 4am on Monday (August 2). To qualify, passengers must have received their two jabs, authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for US travellers.
Travellers will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK, plus a PCR test on or before day two once they have landed. The government also confirmed the resumption of international cruises.
The Department for Transport also stated that while EU travellers will no longer have to quarantine, those arriving from France will have separate rules and that all measures will be kept under review and guided by the latest data.
Travellers should continue to expect a different experience to that of before the global pandemic, with longer wait times and queues possible.
Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound said: “Today’s announcement that quarantine will be removed for vaccinated US and EU visitors to England is a fantastic step forward that will allow the £28 billion inbound tourism sector, which supports over 500,000 jobs across the UK, to finally restart.
“However, businesses that are reliant on international visitors still face substantial barriers to recovery, having had virtually no business since March 2020. Even with reciprocity, the valuable 2021 summer season is all but lost for inbound tourism, meaning thousands of businesses and jobs will continue to be at risk over winter.
“There is a real fear that government will view today as job done, the industry can trade again and therefore no further support is required. This simply is not the case. There are still significant restrictions at our borders, constraining businesses’ ability to trade. This leaves our sector in desperate need of targeted support, to ensure businesses and skilled jobs survive into 2022, when this industry will be able to significantly aid the country’s economic recovery.”
An ABTA spokesperson said: “We also need to see the government make further progress on making testing more affordable and proportionate, and we need to see more destinations added to the green list at next week’s review. We are still seeing other countries reopen more quickly than the UK and we need to capitalise on the success of the vaccine rollout by getting our international travel industry moving again.”
Virginia Messina, senior vice president and acting CEO of WTTC, expressed concern over the potential impact of the US’ travel industry, saying: “The travel and tourism sector – and the UK economy – will get a huge boost following news that fully-vaccinated US and EU visitors will at last be able to travel quarantine-free to England.
“However, unless it’s reciprocal and the US responds with a similar move, we won’t see the full benefit. Research shows that before the pandemic US visitors to the UK contributed more than more than £4 billion to the economy in 2019, underlining the importance of transatlantic travel.
“We urgently need internationally coordinated action to reopen borders to safe international travel for all visitors who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
Harmonisation would restore international mobility, ensure reduced protocols for vaccinated travellers, emphasise the importance of global vaccine recognition, and enable global use of ‘digital health passes’.”