It’s all happening in international travel this week. Following on from the changes in the UK travel restrictions announcement on the 17th September, the US President Joe Biden announced that double dosed vaccinated passengers from the UK would be allowed to enter the US from November – bringing nearly two years of travel restrictions to an end.
These new rules are part of the US Government’s broader travel rule changes – and only apply to those people who have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This means that all UK travellers intending to travel to the US will need to show proof of vaccination before they board their flight, as well as showing proof of a negative result COVID test taken in the three days before their flight is due to take off.
It brings to an end, the so-called “patchwork” of travel restrictions that have been imposed throughout the COVID pandemic by former US President Donald Trump.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, tweeted in response to this announcement, that he was delighted that the President of the United States was “reinstating transatlantic travel”.
He went on to say “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, was also delighted by the announcement saying that in 2020 the only weapon we had to fight the spread of COVID was “simply to keep people apart.” However, as the UK now has eight out of ten people with both doses of the vaccine, he felt that we must use this to our advantage to “restore freedoms that were by necessity lost over the past 18 months.”
He went on to say “Vaccinated Britons will be able to travel into the US from early November” and this is a “testament to the hard work and progress of the expert working group set up at the G7 to restart transatlantic travel.”
Liz Truss, the newly appointed Foreign Secretary, also tweeted that this was “Excellent news for travellers from the UK to the US. Important for our economic recovery, families and trade.”
What are the rules for American travellers?
However, in contrast to this easing of restrictions for double vaccinated travellers from the UK, US President Joe Biden has tightened the rules for US citizens who are not vaccinated. They now need to take a COVID test within a day of their departure from the US as well as on their return to the country,
Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to isolate.
Airlines will need to collect certain information from foreign travellers, including email addresses and phone numbers.
Joe Biden has also extended restrictions along the land borders of the US with Canada and Mexico to help prevent non-essential travel by foreigners. These rules will continue to run for another month, despite the fact that Canada has been allowing fully vaccinated visitors in from the start of August.
What are the new rules for travellers from the UK?
Foreign travellers will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before flying, obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of travelling, and provide airlines with their contact information. They will not be required to quarantine.
Officials have said there will be some exceptions to this policy though, including children who are not eligible to be vaccinated.
It has not been made clear yet, either, whether this policy only applies to the vaccines approved by the US, we are still waiting for a determination on this to be made by the US Center for Disease Control.