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6:36 PM 28th July 2021
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UK Travel Update: Government Waives Quarantine For Fully Vaccinated Arrivals

The latest steps towards reopening international travel make it easier for people vaccinated in Europe or the USA to travel to England.

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay
The UK government has today (28 July 2021) announced that passengers arriving from amber countries who have been fully vaccinated in Europe (EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) and the USA will not have to quarantine when entering England, as part of a range of new measures designed to continue to drive forward the reopening of international travel, set out as part of the second Global Travel Taskforce checkpoint review.

From 4am 2 August 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.


Amber arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and European countries 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. Separate rules will continue to apply for those arriving from France. Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US residency. Passengers from all countries cannot travel to the UK unless they have completed a passenger locator form. https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk

Following the close monitoring of epidemiological evidence, gained through the restart of the domestic cruise industry earlier this year, the UK 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 travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad.

To further support the safe restart of international cruise travel, the government and cruise industry have signed a breakthrough memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help the industry build back from COVID-19 while protecting British nationals from future pandemic-related disruption.

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."

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

"Our vaccination programme is building a wall of defence against this virus so we can safely enjoy our freedoms again, with 7 in 10 adults in the UK now double jabbed.

"By reopening quarantine-free travel for travellers who have been fully vaccinated in European countries and the USA, we’re taking another step on the road to normality which will reunite friends and families and give UK businesses a boost."

7 in 10 adults in the UK now double jabbed.

We are also relaxing the testing requirements for certain critical workers, who by the nature of their work do not mix with the public or leave their vehicles helping free up running times by removing undue burdens.

All measures announced today will be kept under review and be guided by the latest data. Public health remains our top priority, and we will not hesitate to act should the data show that countries risk ratings have changed.

Travel continues to be different this summer, and while some restrictions remain in place passengers should expect their experience to be different and may face longer wait times than they are used to – although the government is making every effort to speed up queues safely. We will continue to rollout upgrades to our 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.

If travelling abroad, you should continue to take the steps to keep safe and prepare in case things change before you go or while you are there. Check the booking terms and conditions on flexibility and refunds and subscribe to FCDO travel advice updates to understand the latest entry requirements and COVID-19 rules at their destination.

 Responding to the news that fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US will not have to quarantine, British Chambers of Commerce Co-Executive Director, Claire Walker, said:  

“For the hundreds of thousands of people directly employed in the travel industry and the many more that are part of supply chains, this will be welcome news.

“The long-term recovery of our entire economy also depends on reopening the UK to the two-way flows of people and trade.

“The government must continue to work with businesses, the aviation industry and international partners to ensure resources and guidance are in place to deal with the influx of passengers who will need vaccination checks.

“It must also be crystal-clear in communicating the new arrangements to overseas travellers so they can have the utmost confidence in visiting the UK. 

“Businesses will also want to see government do everything it can to continue drive down the cost of any tests required for travellers. These costs must not be allowed to become an impediment to the viability of businesses, or on UK firms chances of staking a place in growing markets.”

Tom Thackray, CBI Director of Infrastructure, said:

“Restriction-free international travel will be a vital piece of the recovery jigsaw, and ending quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated arrivals from the US and EU is a huge step towards that goal.

“The news will come as a significant boost to the beleaguered travel industry, while also restoring important business links with key trading partners.

“The task now is to implement these changes as rapidly and smoothly as possible, which should include an efficient pre-travel system of assessing passengers’ Covid-status to prevent congestion at airports.”