Covid: Hopes for US holidays dashed as travel curbs continue

Empire State Building
Credit: PA

Hopes that UK holidaymakers could visit the US this summer have been dashed after it was confirmed that existing international travel curbs will continue.

It is not possible for most European travellers, including those from the UK, to enter the US due to coronavirus fears.

The White House said that they will “maintain existing travel restrictions” due to the increasing spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant and rising case rates across the continent.

It means that most European travellers, including those from the UK, will still be unable enter the US.

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During a press briefing held on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world.

"Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely to continue to increase in the weeks ahead.”

Last week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against travel to the UK in light of the country’s surge in cases.

Most European nations have eased curbs on visitors from the US who are fully-vaccinated.

But the UK has kept the US on its amber list, meaning most arriving travellers must self-isolate for 10 days.

UK nationals living overseas who have had both doses of a coronavirus jab will no longer need to self-isolate when they arrive from an amber list country, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The exemption from quarantine currently only applies to people who were vaccinated under the UK programme, but the government plans to recognise foreign jabs, according to the newspaper. 

It was also reported that ministers are poised to agree to a reciprocal deal on quarantine-free travel with 33 countries, which could lead to a surge in trips between the UK and the EU.

Those countries include much of Europe such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, as well as some long-haul destinations including Barbados and Anguilla.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi is expected to announce the programme Credit: Ddavid Jones/PA

Speaking in the Commons last week, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “By the end of this month, UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas will be able to talk to their GP, go through what vaccine they have had, and have it registered with the NHS that they have been vaccinated.

“Ultimately, there will be a coordination between the World Health Organization, ourselves, the European regulator, the US regulator and other regulators around the world.

“Because we are working at speed, at the moment it is UK nationals and citizens who have had UK vaccinations who will be able to travel to amber list countries other than France and come back and not quarantine.

“We want to offer the same reciprocity as the 33 countries that recognise our app, and that will also happen very soon.”