When can you fly to the UK?

Tower Bridge at night

Note: I was compensated by Project Screen by Prenetics for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thinking of traveling internationally?

Italy, France, Greece, Croatia, and Iceland are among the countries already opening their borders to vaccinated travelers. And on Friday, the EU is expected to finalize details on how all member countries will move forward to welcome vaccinated Americans.   

But what if you want to travel to the UK from the US?

The UK is using a traffic light system for people traveling to England from outside the UK, with countries categorized on the green, amber, or red lists.

Each color has an accompanying list of rules regarding testing and quarantining.

Courtesy Project Screen by Prenetics

The US is on the Amber List – For Now

The status may change depending on a wide variety of factors, including the spread of coronavirus variants, but as of May 28, the United States is on the amber list.

Here’s what that means:

Whether or not you have been vaccinated, if you want to travel from the United States or have been in an amber country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England you must:

Once you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early (after 5 days) if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated. And while in England, you must follow the current coronavirus restrictions.

Once the United States moves to green in the UK’s traffic light system for international travel the rules will ease up, but not lift entirely.

Travelers will still have to take a COVID-19 test, book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form before traveling to England.

On arrival in England, travelers will need to take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after arrival.

No quarantine will be required if the COVID-19 test is negative.

Getting a COVID-19 test in England

Many companies offer the required COVID-19 testing in the U.K. One example is Project Screen, a Prenetics owned company that provides private PCR testing via at-home test kits and via walkup testing pods, with results returned securely online within 24 hours of the lab receiving the swab.

Costs can vary, with some airlines and travel agents offer discounts on tests. And there has been an effort to have the VAT tax removed from testing to help lower the costs.

Are you hoping to travel the England sometime soon? Let us know what your experience is with the traffic light system.

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