(July 27, 2021)
The US State Department has issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” health advisory for the United Kingdom due to a rise in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 within the U.K.. An average of 37,710 cases per day were reported in the United Kingdom in the past week – a strong uptick from the average of under 3,000 cases per day in mid-April of this year. Level 4 is the highest level of CDC’s alert system and indicates that travel to a country should be avoided if at all possible.
Although it was anticipated that U.S. entry restrictions would be lifted, due to the rise in U.S. cases, the Biden administration has decided to maintain the current policy for the near term.
Meanwhile, the U.K. has reduced its restrictions for fully vaccinated U.S. travelers, who will be able to avoid requirements to quarantine or self-isolate when arriving in England, effective Aug. 2, and are only required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test. If travel to the U.K. from the United States is essential, travelers should be aware of the restrictions and precautions to take in order to ensure a safe trip.
What does this mean for U.S. based travelers?
Due to the increased infection rates of Covid-19, it’s highly recommended that travelers be fully vaccinated if they intend to travel to the U.K. and other high-risk countries. While the U.K. has removed the requirements for mask-wearing and social distancing, it is also recommended to continue both health best practices.
For those business employees traveling from the U.S. to the U.K., they will need to meet several requirements at border crossings, including;
Testing Requirements upon arrival to the U.K.
- All travelers entering the UK, including British citizens, must present a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
- Entry requirements and restrictions can vary between countries within the U.K. and are subject to change quickly. Check your specific country’s entry requirements here.
Testing Requirements upon return to the U.S.
- CDC requires that all air passengers returning to the U.S. from a foreign country have documentation of a negative COVID test no more than 3 days prior to their flight departure, or documentation of recovery from Covid-19 in the past 3 months before boarding a flight. .
- If fully vaccinated, travelers still must have the negative Covid test within 3 days of departure.
- Unvaccinated travelers should be tested again 3-5 days after arriving to the U.S. as well as self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.