England to relax Covid-19 quarantine for vaccinated US, EU arrivals

Passengers will also need to show proof of Covid-19 status via so-called vaccine passports. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - The British government is set to allow visitors from the United States and the European Union to travel to England without needing to quarantine on arrival if they have been fully vaccinated.

The plan will allow American visitors to enter the UK on the same basis as Britons who have received two Covid-19 shots and are no longer required to self-isolate when travelling from most medium-risk countries.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his senior team are due to discuss and finalise details of the policy at a meeting Wednesday (July 28), a person familiar with the matter said. The change in policy could come into force as soon as next week, the person added.

If the plans proceed as officials expect, it could deliver a significant boost to the aviation and travel sector, helping to revive critical routes to many popular destinations.

While the British government's decision will ease the barriers to travel from the US, the Biden administration is not likely to reciprocate any time soon. Last week, the US government advised Americans to avoid travelling to the UK because of a surge in coronavirus infections.

Britons who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine no longer have to quarantine for 10 days after returning to the UK from more than 100 countries on the so-called "amber list" of medium risk locations.

Instead they must take Covid-19 tests before setting off on their journeys to the UK and again after arriving. Similar rules on testing are expected to apply to travellers from the EU and the US, under the reforms being drawn up by ministers, which were first reported by the Financial Times.

Passengers will also need to show proof of Covid-19 status via so-called vaccine passports.

As Mr Johnson's government has eased restrictions in recent weeks, interest in foreign holidays has surged, especially for Britons aiming to visit neighbouring European destinations.

Carriers such as EasyJet and Wizz Air put tens of thousands more seats on sale as flight searches increased.

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