Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and most of the European Union will be allowed to enter England and Scotland without quarantining upon arrival starting August 2, announced Rt Hon Grant Shapps.
As of Aug. 2, the rules will apply equally to travelers from the United States and most of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland if they have been vaccinated with shots authorized by either American or European drug regulators, Mr. Shapps said. The exception is travelers from France, who will still have to self-isolate for 10 days. He said travelers will need a negative coronavirus test before a trip and another upon arrival.
Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said, “Today’s announcement that quarantine will be removed for vaccinated US and EU visitors to England is a fantastic step forward that will allow the £28 billion inbound tourism sector, which supports over 500,000 jobs across the UK, to finally restart.
“However, businesses that are reliant on international visitors still face substantial barriers to recovery, having had virtually no business since March 2020. Even with reciprocity, the valuable 2021 summer season is all but lost for inbound tourism, meaning thousands of businesses and jobs will continue to be at risk over winter.
“There is a real fear that Government will view today as job done, the industry can trade again and therefore no further support is required. This simply is not the case. There are still significant restrictions at our borders, constraining businesses’ ability to trade. This leaves our sector in desperate need of targeted support, to ensure businesses and skilled jobs survive into 2022, when this industry will be able to significantly aid the country’s economic recovery.”
Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, said: “The Travel & Tourism sector – and the UK economy – will get a huge boost following news that fully-vaccinated US and EU visitors will at last be able to travel quarantine-free to England.
“The cruise industry will breathe a sigh of relief that the crucial relaunch of international cruise departures from England has been given the green light, giving hope to a sector which has struggled to stay afloat.
“It also throws a vital lifeline to airlines and businesses throughout the sector, by helping to restore much-need transatlantic travel and essential links to the EU.
“However, unless it’s reciprocal and the US responds with a similar move, we won’t see the full benefit.
“Research shows that before the pandemic US visitors to the UK contributed more than more than £4 billion to the economy in 2019, underlining the importance of transatlantic travel.
“We urgently need internationally coordinated action to reopen borders to safe international travel for all visitors who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
“Harmonisation would restore international mobility, ensure reduced protocols for vaccinated travellers, emphasise the importance of global vaccine recognition, and enable global use of ‘digital health passes’.”
U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said, “British government leaders have made a wise decision in reopening England to vaccinated travelers from the United States. It’s time for U.S. leaders to do the same and set a timeline to reopen our national borders—and we encourage them to start with vaccinated travelers from the U.K., E.U. and Canada. The reality is there’s no difference between a vaccinated American and those vaccinated in the U.K., the E.U. and Canada.
“International travel is an export industry, and the balance of travel trade historically has favored the United States. Closed borders have not eliminated the spread of the delta variant, while continued border closures have further delayed the return of American jobs and a greater economic recovery.
“To U.S. government leaders we say: Let’s establish a plan—now—as the British and Canadian and other governments have done, to begin reopening international travel.
“To all, we say: Heed the calls from health authorities and get a vaccine. It’s the fastest path to normalcy for all.”