New travel rules for fully jabbed US and EU arrivals begin

2 August 2021, 15:45

US and EU travellers will not have to quarantine when they arrive in the UK.
US and EU travellers will not have to quarantine when they arrive in the UK. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Covid travel rules for fully vaccinated visitors from the US and EU were eased on Monday morning, meaning people could enter England without having to isolate.

From 4am, double jabbed travellers could visit England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland without having to isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously said that it would help reunite people with their family and friends from across the world.

However, visitors will still be required to take a pre-departure test, as well as another on or before day two of their arrival.

Prior to the change, only travellers who received both doses of the vaccine in the UK were able to enter from an amber list country.

The revised rules do not apply to those coming from France, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra or Vatican City.

Speaking on Monday, Boris Johnson said the UK's economy and society "is just about the most open in Europe", made possible by vaccinations.

He told reporters at Airbus in Stevenage: "On travel, we have had to balance it because of the anxiety that I think a lot of people have - I have - about importing new variants, bringing back the disease.

"We also have to recognise that people want, badly, to go on their summer holidays, we need to get the travel industry moving again, we need to get our city centres open again and so we want an approach that is as simple as we can possibly make it."

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It comes as reports have suggested ministers are concerned over the proposal of an ‘amber watchlist’, which could be introduced in the next travel review from the government.

The watchlist would mean countries could be put onto the red list at short notice.

Asked about it on Monday, Mr Johnson said: "I understand that people care very much about their holidays, people want to go abroad, I understand how much people plan, prepare, for the summer holidays.

"But we have also got to remember this is still a dangerous virus and we must try and stop variants coming in, must stop importing variants from abroad, so we have to have a balanced approach.

"What I want to see is something that is as simple and as user-friendly for people as possible."

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, was the against the idea.

"There's no need for an amber watchlist, which would complicate the traffic light system even more," he tweeted.

"Just create a simple go and no-go list, as Americans have, enabling the fully-jabbed to travel at will. It's not rocket science."

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly told the Prime Minister in a letter that the UK's entry and exit rules were "out of step" with other countries.