UK to Waive Quarantine for Vaccinated Brits Returning From 'Amber' Countries, Including the U.S.
The United Kingdom will waive quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated Brits traveling home from "amber" countries, including the United States, later this month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Thursday.
"#British fully vaccinated adults will not need to isolate from amber list countries including those on clinical trials – another step to fully reopening international travel," Schapps tweeted. "Children under 18 will not need to self-isolate."
The new rules will go into effect starting July 19, the same day Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country plans to lift many pandemic-era rules, including doing away with capacity restrictions and lifting mask mandates. Several popular European vacation destinations as well as the United States fall into that category.
The opening follows a robust vaccination program where 86.4% of people 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 64.6% have received a second dose, according to the government.
Currently, travelers entering the UK from an "amber" country are required to get tested before arrival and quarantine for at least five days before getting tested again several times, according to the government.
Starting on July 19, travelers will still be required to get tested before they arrive as well as on the second day but will be exempt from having to take another test on the 8th day.
While this would open the door to travel between the two countries, the U.S. continues to restrict non-essential travel for non-U.S. citizens from several areas around the globe, including from the UK. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the UK as "Level 3," indicating there is a high incidence of COVID-19.
The new travel rules follow a push by U.S. and UK airlines to open a travel corridor between the two countries. The UK may be relaxing mask requirements, but face coverings will still be required on several British and European airlines.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.