Home Travel England Is Cutting Its Required Quarantine For U.S. Travelers

England Is Cutting Its Required Quarantine For U.S. Travelers

by SharonKurheg

England has an ever-updated list of “safe” countries with which it has a “travel corridor,” due to COVID-19. As per the UK government’s website:

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on this page. You must have spent the last 14 days in one of these places, or in the UK.

If you visited somewhere that is not on the list in the 14 days before your arrival in England, you will need to self-isolate. Visiting includes making a transit stop.

The list is here and, not surprisingly, does not include the United States at this time.

Not being on their travel corridor list currently means a visitor from the U.S., for example, would have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, with penalties ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 for breaking their self-isolation rule.

However effective December 15th, England will offer a different option, called “Test to Release.”

Under the ‘Test to Release’ program, passengers will have the option to take a COVID test after five days of self-isolation. If they get a negative result, they can then be released from self-isolation.

Instead of having to quarantine for 14 days, it can potentially be done in just 5 (assuming you make a reservation with a rapid testing service and the result is negative).

The tests are expected to cost about £100 ($133) per person.

The U.K. government said this plan is being offered due to evidence that suggests a test after this period of time gives more accurate results, as it allows time for the virus to incubate, if present.

It’s hoped that the plan will give passengers the confidence to travel again.

Passengers who choose to opt into Test to Release have to make an appointment and pay for a test before they travel. They must also complete a passenger locator form and still need to self-isolate for five days before taking a test (they can’t take the test upon arrival).

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We have a plan in place to ensure that our route out of this pandemic is careful and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to bolster international travel while keeping the public safe.

“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business. By giving people the choice to test on day five, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”

Eligible test providers will be shared on a gov.uk list as Dec. 15th comes closer.

Passengers will have the choice of visiting a private site or taking a test from home. Of course, those who choose not to take a test  5 days after arriving from a non-exempt country must continue to self isolate for the full two weeks.

Feature Photo: pixabay

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


NB November 25, 2020 - 12:21 pm

It would be nice if the US reciprocated, or at least allowed UK travellers into the country at all.

SharonKurheg November 25, 2020 - 3:50 pm

I think I read they’re in discussions. If nothing else, things might potentially change under the Biden administration.


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