The U.K. government has announced that passengers arriving from amber list countries who have been fully vaccinated in the United States and Europe (EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) will not have to quarantine when entering England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own rules and guidance on COVID-19 measures. This change currently applies to arrivals in England only.
From August 2, passengers who are fully vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the Swiss vaccination program, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.
These arrivals will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arrival into England, alongside a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival. Those vaccinated in the U.S. will also need to provide proof of U.S. residency. Passengers from all countries cannot travel to the U.K. unless they have completed a passenger locator form.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the move but questioned why the quarantine relaxation has been restricted to U.S. and EU travelers instead of open to all those who have been vaccinated, and asked when the U.S. will reciprocate. An IATA statement also asked why travelers are forced to test twice, the second time using expensive PCR tests. In addition, the association has called for clarity on unvaccinated people who test negative for COVID-19.
Following the close monitoring of epidemiological evidence, gained through the restart of the domestic cruise industry earlier this year, the U.K. government has also confirmed the go ahead for international cruise sailings to restart from England in line with Public Health England guidance. International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travelers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety.
The British government is also continuing to upgrade its e-gates over the summer to automate checks for health requirements, with many e-gates already in operation and more to be added over the coming months to increase automated checks on passengers at airports.