The United Kingdom this summer will begin to allow fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and other countries on the U.K.’s “amber list” to avoid quarantine, the government has announced.
The measures will be introduced in phases, starting with U.K. residents, and would begin “later in the summer,” according to the U.K. government, adding that a firm date would be announced next month. At the same time, it would remove the guidance that people should not travel to amber countries.
The government said it would offer further details next month including how the rules will apply to those unable to be vaccinated.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination program, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated U.K. arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress.
“It’s right that we continue with this cautious approach, to protect public health and the vaccine rollout as our top priority, while ensuring that our route out of the international travel restrictions is sustainable.”
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “It is very positive news that ministers are following the science and that fully vaccinated people will be able to travel safely without quarantine later this summer.
Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, said: “Stating an intention to enable double vaccinated people to travel to amber countries without the need to self-isolate on return is long overdue and this policy must be implemented as soon as possible.
“Vague and open-ended promises are just not good enough.”
Jason Oshiokpekhai, managing director of Global Travel Collection UK, said: “We urgently need more clarity on this—we have already lost a significant portion of what we had expected to be our life-line recovery period, there is no reason why we should not be benefiting from the profound progress we have made with our vaccination program.
“Right now, we have over 60 percent of our U.K. population double vaccinated with a protection that has proved efficacy against all circulating variants. Pairing this with the news of zero variants imported from over 20,000 passengers returning from amber list countries, the question begs – what are we waiting for?”
The United States and United Kingdom this month agreed to establish a working group of experts to develop recommendations for restarting international travel. The U.S. continues to deny foreign nationals from the U.K. and Europe’s Schengen Area, among other locations, entry. The U.S. also requires a negative Covid-19 test for all inbound international air travelers.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce SVP for European affairs Marjorie Chorlins in a statement called on the U.S. government to “reciprocate and allow for the return of European travelers to the United States as soon as possible. The resumption of safe transatlantic travel is critically important for our nation’s economic recovery, as in-person business engagements and international tourism will help drive economic growth and job creation for Americans across the country.”
The announcement came as the U.K. government made changes to the traffic light system.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.businesstravelnews.com/Global/UK-Says-It-Will-Ease-Quarantine-for-US-Other-Arrivals