UK-US travel this summer: What you need to know

·3 min read
London, UK - August 12, 2018 - Departure board displaying time, destination cities and gate information in London Heathrow airport
Those who want to avoid quarantine might want to hold off making travel plans. Photo: Getty

The US was given an amber designation since the UK introduced a traffic light system for travelling, which means that Brits traveling back from the country on the other side of the Atlantic must quarantine at home for ten days. 

And since March 2020, it is not possible for most British nationals to enter the US from the UK unless they meet certain requirements, such as being a green card holder.

It doesn't look like this is changing any time soon even though the two countries have set up a joint taskforce to help facilitate the reopening of transatlantic travel.

Hopes that the two would open up a travel corridor have recently been dashed. The FT reported that officials involved in talks think it is “increasingly unlikely” that they will reach a conclusion by the July, as some had expected.

These officials have said this is due to “a combination of the rise in cases of the Delta variant in the UK, the complexities of the US political system and uncertainty over the status of AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) vaccine”.

Around 22,868 positive cases were reported in the UK on 28 June - the highest number since late January.

Unfortunately this is also why holidaymakers are facing tough restrictions when travelling to Portugal, Spain, Malta and Hong Kong.

Those who do decide to travel to the UK from the US must take a COVID-19 test.

They also need to book and pay for two tests that must be taken after arrival, and they need to complete a passenger locator form.

Watch: What risks come with Green list travel?

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Travelers can submit the form any time in the 48 hours before they arrive in the UK. The form requires them to enter booking reference numbers for the COVID-19 tests they must take after arrival.

On arrival in England they have to quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days, and take a COVID-19 test around day 2 and day 8.

There is some hope that those who are vaccinated may soon be able to skip the quarantine.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps recently said: "We're moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination program, we're now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries."

More than 44 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The government hopes to offer vaccines to all adults by mid-July.

Those who do qualify to travel from the US to the UK can expect to pay about £400 ($553) for flights to New York and San Francisco on the 4 July weekend, when the US celebrates independence day. A return trip to Chicago or Philadelphia and Miami will cost about £500, as per Sky Scanner.

Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?

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