Travel: Simon Calder says new quarantine rules ‘ludicrous’
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Recent changes now mean people in England can arrive back from an amber list country and forego quarantine, as long as they have received two vaccine doses. However, people arriving in England who were not vaccinated in the UK could not benefit from the new rules. But on Wednesday, the Government announced further changes to the travel rules.
From 4am on August 2, 2021, people arriving in England from the US and Europe will not be required to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
The Government said in an update: “From 4am on August 2, 2021, passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.”
For several months there have been reports of plans for a potential travel corridor between the US and the UK, to no avail.
So the recent changes will undoubtedly come as a relief to many people who may not have seen friends and family in Europe or the US for more than a year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’ve taken great strides on our journey to reopen international travel and today is another important step forward.
“Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade – this is progress we can all enjoy.
“We will of course continue to be guided by the latest scientific data but thanks to our world-leading domestic vaccination programme, we’re able to look to the future and start to rebuild key transatlantic routes with the US while further cementing ties with our European neighbours.”
While the changes will open England up to more travellers, restrictions remain in place for people in England who wish to visit the US.
Which countries do the new rules apply to?
Although most people from Europe will be able to skip quarantine in England if they are fully vaccinated, separate rules apply to France.
France is currently listed as an ‘amber plus’ country, meaning quarantine is required after visiting regardless of vaccination status.
The Government guidance currently states: “If you’ve been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive and take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, even if you are fully vaccinated.”
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Here is the full list of countries where fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine when they enter England from August 2:
- Europe, comprising of:
EU Member States:
Excluding France (separate rules will continue to apply)
European Free Trade Association countries:
European microstate countries:
- Vatican City
Can people from England visit the US without quarantine?
Although the rules will change at the English border, the US is not permitting people from England to visit for non-essential reasons at the current time.
However, ministers are hopeful the US Government will change its border rules shortly.
Asked whether he was confident the US and Europe would reciprocate on England’s new rules, Mr Shapps said: “I’ve just spoken to my US counterpart today and in the US they still have an executive order which prevents travel from the UK, from Europe, from several other countries to the US.
“So we’re saying, ‘You can come here, you can come visit, you can come see friends, you can come as a tourist if you’ve been double vaccinated and follow the rules without quarantine’.
“We can’t change that on the other side but we do expect that in time they will release that executive order, which was actually signed by the previous president, and bans inward travel.”
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