The U.K. government announced Wednesday that fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and European Union will no longer have to quarantine in order to visit the country. However, visitors will still be subject to COVID-19 testing requirements.
"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 U.K. still requires a pre-departure test and a test upon arrival, and those returning from the country to the U.S. will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 in order to board a flight.
U.S. doesn’t plan to reciprocate
At this time, the U.S. government says it doesn’t plan to drop travel restrictions because of the rise of the Delta variant.
“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.”
The U.K.’s lifting of the quarantine requirement comes at a time of change to U.S. mask recommendations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday that it now believes that some vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public spaces, at least in some parts of the country.
“This pandemic continues to pose a serious threat to the health of all Americans,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters. “Today, we have new science related to the delta variant that requires us to update the guidance regarding what you can do when you are fully vaccinated.”