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UK may relax travel bans on the US and EU — but don’t expect the US to follow suit

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 7/27/2021 Victoria M. Walker
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The United Kingdom government is reportedly considering relaxing travel restrictions for American and European Union travelers, the Financial Times reported July 26.

The London-based newspaper cited a senior airport executive who claimed that the quarantine exemptions could broaden “imminently” and that the government was also considering dropping France from the new “Amber Plus” list, which keeps the old amber list rules regardless of vaccination status.

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Even if the U.K. loosened its travel restrictions in the coming weeks, travelers shouldn’t expect the U.S. government to return the favor.

Reuters first reported the U.S. wouldn’t lift any of its existing travel restrictions “at this point” over concerns about the delta coronavirus variant. Most non-U.S. citizens of China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, India and Schengen Area countries are banned from entering the United States.

“Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on July 26, according to Reuters.

Several countries have reopened to Americans in recent weeks. Canada on July 19 said it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens beginning on Aug. 9. The European Union has also opened to vaccinated Americans.

The delta variant is the most dominant strain in the U.S. and U.K. It now accounts for 83% of cases in the U.S., a figure the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called a “dramatic” increase from the week of July 3.

The U.S. remains on the U.K.’s medium-risk amber list. While not an outright ban like the U.S., the amber designation requires that arriving passengers in the U.K. have a pre-departure test result and quarantine for 10 days on arrival. Passengers must pre-book a set of tests before travel to take on days two and eight of quarantine.

Featured photo by Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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