The UK to reopen for tourists with vaccination

Published on : Saturday, June 19, 2021

The United Kingdom witnessed one of the highest numbers of deaths from Covid-19 globally. In spite of being the first country worldwide to start a vaccination scheme, the UK experienced a deadly second wave during the winter months. The Alpha Covid variant, touted to be more infectious, was discovered in the UK, with many countries canceling air links right before Christmas 2020.


In early January, the UK went into full lockdown. Although the lockdown has now been relaxed, some restrictions are still in effect in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The recent lockdown and the ongoing vaccination program have reduced Covid-19 cases down in the UK, but there are still fears about the impact of the Delta Covid variant.


During the 2021 lockdown, the UK had postponed international travel. But on May 17, non-essential international travel again started in England, Scotland and Wales under a risk-based “traffic light” system, dividing countries into “red”, “amber” or “green” categories. This system was put into practice in Northern Ireland from May 24.


There are currently 11 countries on the green list, and Portugal was removed from the list on June 8.


For traveling to the UK, all travelers, including British citizens, must present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival.


The UK residents traveling from destinations on the “red list,” which includes South Africa, India, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates, can enter the country, but they need to quarantine upon arrival in a hotel and adhere to testing requirements.


All UK arrivals need to provide a negative test taken within the past 72 hours, and complete aPassenger Locator Form before entering the UK.


Before visiting the UK, these travelers must buy what the UK government calls a “quarantine package,” that covers quarantine and food and drink while staying there.


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