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U.S. And U.K. Give Green Light To Vaccinated Travelers—But When?

For anyone waiting to travel again between the U.S. and the U.K., many can take heart that the two countries are moving in the same direction–both countries have green lit trials for domestic passports (for vaccinated people to enter sports games or music concerts) and both have agreed that vaccinated people will be able to travel overseas, as soon as the borders reopen:

Vaccinated U.K. residents have been given the go-ahead to travel overseas, once borders open–The Telegraph reported that vaccinated U.K. travelers will face fewer restrictions upon returning and be allowed to return untested from more places. Under new plans, everyone would have to get tested before departure but arrival countries would be more lenient to vaccinated passengers and there would be less testing upon return.

Likewise, the CDC has told U.S. travelers they can travel abroad if they too are fully vaccinated–on 2 April, the CDC updated its travel advice to say that vaccinated passengers do not need to get tested before departure unless the destination requires it, nor do they need to quarantine upon return. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after having the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after having one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Both the U.S. and the U.K. plan to use vaccination passports to reopen cultural events, pretty much like the Excelsior pass currently operational in New York.

The Biden administration is planning to develop a national ‘vaccine passport’ program for domestic use by Americans. Business Insider reported that five officials told The Washington Post that the White House plan would be to allow vaccinated people to download a scannable code onto their phones, which would grant them entry into restaurants, sports grounds, music venues, and possibly even to return to the office.

The U.K. government has also announced a similar scheme, which it is calling a ‘covid certification scheme’. The Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston announced trials would start immediately to allow vaccinated people entry into pilot events–which include the soccer FA Cup final, the World Snooker Championship, cinema screenings and nightclub events–and as reported by the BBC, will take place up until mid-May.

President Biden is reportedly aiming to lift the travel ban on U.K. and EU visitors by mid-May if vaccinations reach enough of a threshold to allow travel to begin again. 

In turn, the U.K. is higher on the list than most of Europe, at present, for possible countries which Americans might be allowed to visit; if the U.K. plan to come out of its lockdown continues as planned, the country might reopen its borders on 1 July.

Incidentally, U.S. travelers are still allowed to enter the U.K. (they have never been banned) but they still have to enter a very strict quarantine.

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