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The UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has just addressed Parliament to confirm that fully vaccinated UK citizens/residents arriving into England from “amber list” countries will no longer have to self-isolate upon their return to England. The devolved nations will be reviewing their rules separately and may or may not follow England’s lead.
From 19 July 2021, UK residents who are fully vaccinated* through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England from an ‘amber list’ country.
Fully vaccinated UK residents will still have to provide proof of a negative COVID taken no more than 3 days before travel and they will still have to take a PCR test two days after their arrival in England, but they will no longer have to self isolate and they will no longer have to take a further PCR test 8 days after their arrival.
In addition, children between the ages of 11 and 18 returning from ‘amber list’ countries will not have to self-isolate upon arrival in England but they will still need to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken a maximum of 3 days before travel and they will still be required to take a day 2 PCR test. (they will still have to take a day
Children aged 5 – 10 will only be required to take a day 2 test (no self-isolation required) while children aged 4 and under remain exempt from all testing.
Acceptable proof of a person’s vaccination status will be the NHS app or the letter which can be requested from the NHS by calling 119. Passengers will be required to declare their vaccination status on the UK’s “passenger locator form” which must be submitted before travel to the UK is permitted.
Crucially, the Transport Secretary also confirmed that government guidance to avoid travel to ‘amber list’ countries will be dropped from 19 July meaning that UK-issued travel insurance will once again be valid for travel to counties on the amber list.
*It’s important to note that for the purposes of this announcement, a fully vaccinated person is defined as someone who has had both doses of a COVID vaccine administered in the United Kingdom, and who has seen a minimum of 14 days pass since their second dose.
How About Residents Of Amber List Counties Like The US?
While the Transport Secretary had good news for fully vaccinated UK residents, the news was less promising for non-UK residents hoping to visit England from ‘amber list’ countries (like the United States) this summer.
Grant Shapps confirmed that the government is still looking at ways to allow vaccinated visitors from “important markets and holiday destinations” like the United States and the EU to visit England without the need to self-isolate but did not actually commit to anything other than to say that he will update parliament “in due course”.
From 19 July, UK residents who have been fully vaccinated by the UK’s vaccine program can return from ‘amber list’ counties without having to self-isolate upon arrival. Proof of a negative COVID test taken no more than 3 days before travel will still be required as will a PCR test taken no more than two days after they return, but a day 8 test will also no longer be required.
Vaccinated non-UK residents wishing to travel to England from an ‘amber list’ country will continue to have to self-isolate for a minimum of 5 days upon arrival and take a COVID test on day 2 and day 8 of their visit.