Pack your bags for that trip to London: England will allow fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. to visit the country without having to quarantine on arrival from August 2. The move, which will allow trans-Atlantic tourism for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, was confirmed Wednesday after being trailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The changes will also see England extend quarantine-free travel to vaccinated Europeans. Most visitors will, however, still need to get a cheap antigen test before departure and a more expensive PCR test on day 2 of their English sojourn.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade, this is progress we can all enjoy. We will, of course, continue to be guided by the latest scientific data, but thanks to our world-leading domestic vaccination programme, we’re able to look to the future and start to rebuild key transatlantic routes with the US while further cementing ties with our European neighbours.” The new relaxed regime initially only applies to England but it is hoped governments in the other nations of the United Kingdom will soon follow suit. Shares in airlines jumped on the news; British Airways’ parent group IAG was up 3.8 percent.