Fully vaccinated Americans can visit England without quarantining beginning Monday, a long-awaited change for travelers.
“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Twitter.
The lifting of the England quarantine requirement comes just a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Statement Department recommended against travel to the United Kingdom due to rising COVD case counts.
U.S. citizens have been allowed to travel to the U.K. during the pandemic but faced travel restrictions, including coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine.
Under the relaxed rules for vaccinated Americans and Europeans, visitors will still be subject to COVID testing requirements.
England requires a pre-departure test as well as a test upon arrival. The latter must be taken by day two of the trip. Vaccinated Americans must also provide proof of U.S. residency and fill out a passenger locator form.
Travelers returning from England to the United States must also still show a negative coronavirus test or recent recovery from COVID-19 to board U.S.-bound international flights under a CDC requirement in place since January. The requirement applies to all U.S.-bound travelers on international flights, even those who are fully vaccinated.
But the U.S. has no plans to reciprocate by lifting travel restrictions anytime soon given the rise of the delta variant, according to the White House.
The United States’ current travel restrictions – which deny entry for people from the European Schengen area, United Kingdom and other countries – will remain in place.
“Given where we are today … with the delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing Monday. “The more transmissible delta variant is spreading both here and around the world. Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead.”
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Contributing: Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY