Covid-19: What are the latest changes to the travel rules?

2 August 2021, 10:41 | Updated: 2 August 2021, 10:57

The move will see changes for scores of travellers
The move will see changes for scores of travellers. Picture: Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Covid travel restrictions have seen major changes, with fully vaccinated people from the US and EU able to enter England without isolating.

Previously, only travellers who had received two doses of a vaccine in the UK were permitted to enter the UK from an amber country - such as the US and most of the EU - without self-isolating for 10 days, except those returning from France.

What rules were changed?

Quarantine was waived for fully vaccinated travellers from the US and much of Europe arriving in England.

What impact does it have?

It means trips to England are viable for millions of people in those countries, boosting UK travel and tourism firms.

When did the change come into effect?

On Monday August 2 at 4am.

What parts of Europe are included?

The whole of the EU except France, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Travellers planning to take advantage of the new policy must be fully vaccinated with jabs authorised by the EU's European Medicines Agency, the Food and Drug Administration in the US, or in the Swiss vaccination programme.

Do arrivals still need to be tested for coronavirus?

Yes, they are required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after they arrive in England.

They are exempt from the day eight test.

What about children?

Children who usually live in the US or in one of the named European countries are exempt from quarantine and the day eight test.

Those aged between five and 10 are also exempt from the pre-departure test, with under-fives exempt from all tests.

What is the situation in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales?

Scotland and Wales followed the Government's move on quarantine requirements.

The Welsh Government said it "regrets" the move but added it would be "ineffective" to have different rules for Wales.

Ministers in Northern Ireland agreed to go forward with relaxing the rules, allowing fully vaccinated travellers from EU amber countries and the US.

What do the changes mean for UK travellers?

Nothing. People who have been fully vaccinated are already exempt from self-isolation when returning from a country on the amber list, which includes the US and those EU countries not on the quarantine-free green list.

No reciprocal deal has been reached with the US, meaning UK visitors are still banned from entering due to coronavirus fears.

What are the rules for travel from France to England?

They are unchanged. Travellers will continue to be required to quarantine, even if they are fully vaccinated.

What was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last week?

The Cabinet minister revealed the changes to US and EU travel, saying: "We're helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK."

He also said international cruises would be permitted to resume departing and arriving in England.

Ships operating in England are currently restricted to domestic sailings.