People wait for passengers in one of the international arrivals lounges at London Heathrow Airport in west London on February 14, 2021
JUSTIN TALLIS | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – US and EU travelers who have been fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus The British government announced on Wednesday that they will soon be able to travel to England without quarantine.
The move comes after the UK government also lifted quarantine requirements on July 19 for fully vaccinated English residents if they visited countries with the so-called Amber List with less severe Covid-19 situations.
Both announcements bring new relief to airlines and the wider tourism sector, which has been hit hard by Covid restrictions. The European travel and leisure sector traded higher on Wednesday, aided by recent decisions. EasyJet and the parent company of British Airways London afternoon shops increased more than 4%.
British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said via Twitter that the quarantine exemption will be introduced from Monday. There comes a time when the United States is lifting some of its social restrictions.
Shapps said the changes would apply to fully vaccinated individuals with a vaccination approved in the US or Europe. Travelers are required to perform the usual pre-departure test prior to arrival and a PCR test on the second day after returning to England.
The Biden administration said this week it will maintain travel restrictions, including a ban on most non-US citizens from entering the US from the UK, as the Delta variant is rapidly spreading. Last week the CDC and the State Department did have raised their warnings when traveling in the UK to the highest level and encouraging citizens to avoid traveling there.
The trend has frustrated airline executives who hoped the US would relax the travel rules during the main travel season in summer. JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes said Tuesday the airline would offer flights between New York and London on August 11, as planned, but is likely to cut flights in September. “We will continue to do the review from month to month,” said Hayes in a quarterly phone call with analysts.
Meanwhile, the CDC announced on Tuesday that even fully vaccinated Americans should be wearing masks indoors again. This follows renewed concerns about Covid variants, particularly Delta, which is known for its higher infection rates.
– CNBCs Leslie Josephs contributed to this article.