Travel: Simon Calder says new quarantine rules ‘ludicrous’
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The third wave of Covid is starting to recede from British society, with cases having dipped by more than 15,000 over the last few days. The change allows the Government to continue scaling back its rules, with the few remaining measures guiding foreign holidays. Soon, ministers will allow people from other nations to visit after having both jabs, but it is up to those nations to decide whether they will reciprocate.
Can fully-vaccinated Britons visit the US?
The US is a holiday favourite for well-resourced Britons, who may opt to spend weeks away sunbathing in sun-soaked California or amidst the vast metropolis of New York.
At present, fully-vaccinated people can depart for the country if they wish, given the recent changes of requirements for “amber” list nations – of which the US is a member.
However, holidays hinge on US foreign policy, and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) currently has the UK on its “very high” risk assessment level.
Travellers entering the UK from North America can land in the country without issue from 4am on August 2, provided they have both of their Covid jabs.
By then, the Government will recognise both US and EU vaccine certificates, but passengers still need to take pre-departure tests.
At present, however, UK travellers cannot enter US borders regardless of vaccination status.
Officials blacklisted much of Europe while President Trump was in power.
Advice on Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) states Britons can’t enter if they have previously travelled through several other nations.
The advice states: “It is not possible for most British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, China, South Africa or India within the previous 14 days.
“Those arriving from outside these areas will need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor.”
US officials have not indicated whether they will move on the policy any time soon.
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Discussions are ongoing, however, thanks to a US-UK task force.
Cross-Atlantic talks started in June when both governments greenlit the task force.
At the time, transport secretary Grant Shapps revealed most talks would take place in the UK.
He said the talks would “explore” potential options for reopening travel between the countries.
Mr Shapps said: “Before the outbreak of coronavirus, more than five million Brits visited the US and 4.5 million Americans visited the UK every year – more than any other country.
“The task force will work to explore options for resuming UK-US travel and ensure the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy going forward.”
And the move was hailed by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
The organisation welcomed the news but said there was little in terms of “detail or timings”.
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