| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

England scraps quarantine for fully-vaccinated EU, U.S. visitors

From next week, fully vaccinated travelers from the European Union and the United States will be allowed to enter England without being quarantined, according to the transport minister, in a big and long-awaited boost for airlines and travel companies.

The travel industry has slammed the government for being too sluggish to open up, claiming that it has squandered its lead in global vaccination rollouts and given the EU an advantage in wooing tourists.

Travelers having U.S. and EU-approved immunizations will not be required to quarantine beginning August 2, according to the authorities. That will cover the UK’s top nine most visited markets prior to the outbreak.

The opening up of England would likely be followed by the rest of the United Kingdom.

Travellers will, however, still have to take a COVID-19 test before departure and soon after arrival in England, transport minister Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter.

The move will help airlines and travel companies drum up more business after 16 months of restrictions left many of them under severe financial strain.

Shares in British Airways were up 3% while easyJet rose 4% and Wizz Air jumped 5%.

Quarantine for fully vaccinated Britons returning to the UK from medium risk countries was scrapped on July 19, helping to kickstart a travel recovery, but frequent rule changes over the last two months mean travel is still plagued by uncertainty.

Moreover, the U.S. remains shut to British visitors so for the transatlantic carriers like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, planes will primarily be carrying U.S. citizens to England.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on LBC Radio earlier on Wednesday that he wants U.S. citizens to come to England “freely” and is discussing a travel corridor with the United States, which would mean the restart of two-way traffic with the U.S.

  • Reuters