People fully vaccinated in the United States and the European Union – with the exception of France – will be allowed to travel to England without having to quarantine themselves upon arrival, the British government said on Wednesday.
“We are helping to reunite people living in the United States and European countries with their family and friends,” Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.
The policy will go into effect from 4:00 a.m. (03:00 GMT) on August 2.
Travelers fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency will be able to travel from any country on the UK government’s “amber” traffic light list without having to. isolate themselves at home for 10 days.
They will still need to take a test before departure and take another test on the second day after arriving in England.
Separate rules will continue to apply for people arriving from France due to government concern about the “persistent presence” of the beta variant, which is said to be more resistant to vaccines.
Those traveling from an Orange List country, which includes most of Europe and the United States, who are not fully vaccinated will still need to be quarantined upon arrival.
“By reopening non-quarantine travel for travelers who have been fully vaccinated in European countries and the United States, we are taking another step on the road to normalcy that will bring friends and family together and give UK business a boost. ”Said Health Secretary Sajid Javid. noted.
The government has also confirmed the restart of international cruises.
“This is progress that we can all benefit from,” Shapps wrote.
Britain is in the midst of another wave of the virus due to the Delta variant, although the number of cases has fallen over the past week, while its vaccination campaign has seen more than 70 percent of adults completely stung.
The decentralized governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own health policies and decide their own rules for overseas travel, but consult with London on UK-wide policy .
– ‘A huge step’ –
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed Wednesday’s announcement.
“Unrestricted international travel will be a vital piece of the recovery puzzle, and ending quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals from the US and the EU is a big step towards that goal,” said Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure at CBI.
“The news will come as a significant boost to the beleaguered travel industry. “
The Virgin Atlantic airline said it was “ready to work with the government to ensure the new rules are implemented smoothly.”
“We are now urging the UK government to go further and put the US on the UK’s ‘green list’,” Virgin Managing Director Shai Weiss said.
“The UK is already behind the US and the EU and a continued overly cautious approach to international travel will have a further impact on the economic recovery and the 500,000 UK jobs at stake,” he said. he warned.
However, the US administration continues to ban most inbound travel from non-residents and has warned against travel to the UK in particular, due to the Delta variant.
© 2021 AFP