Covid: What are the latest changes to coronavirus travel rules?

Travellers will be required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival. Credit: PA

People travelling to England, Wales and Scotland from the United States and European Union will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival if they have been double vaccinated against Covid-19, the government has announced.

The relaxation of border restrictions will take effect from from August 2 at 4am, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced.

Travellers will be required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced the relaxation of border restrictions will take effect from from August 2 at 4am. Credit: PA

Changes have not been announced for those arriving in Wales and Northern Ireland however newspaper reports claimed the devolved nations would soon follow.

So what does it all mean and what's changing?

In a nutshell, what has been announced?

Quarantine will be waived for fully-vaccinated travellers from the US and much of Europe arriving in England, Scotland and Wales.

What impact will that have?

It means trips to England will be viable for millions of people in those countries, boosting UK travel and tourism firms.

When does the change come into effect?

On Monday, August 2 at 4am.

What parts of Europe are included?

The whole of the EU except France, the four European Free Trade Association members (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein), plus the microstates of Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Travellers planning to take advantage of the new policy must be fully vaccinated with jabs authorised by the EU’s European Medicines Agency, the Food and Drug Administration in the US, or in the Swiss vaccination programme.

Will arrivals still be tested for coronavirus?

Yes, they will be required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after they arrive in England, Scotland or Wales.

They will be exempt from the day eight test.

Visitors will be required to do a PCR test Credit: University of Aberdeen/PA

What about children?

Children who usually live in the US or in one of the named European countries will be exempt from quarantine and the day eight test.

Those aged between five and 10 will also be exempt from the pre-departure test, with under-5s exempt from all tests.

Children will be exempt from quarantine and the eighth day test. Credit: PA

What is the situation in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland has not confirmed whether it will implement the same policy as the rest of the UK, but it is expected to follow suit.

What do the changes mean for UK travellers?

Nothing. People who have been fully vaccinated are already exempt from self-isolation when returning from a country on the amber list, which includes the US and those EU countries not on the quarantine-free green list.

No widespread reciprocal deal to benefit UK travellers has been announced, and the US continues to be closed to most visitors from Europe, including the UK.

What are the rules for travel from France to England?

They are unchanged. Travellers will continue to be required to quarantine, even if they are fully vaccinated due to the country's coronavirus situation.

What else was announced by Mr Shapps?

International cruises will be permitted to resume departing and arriving in England.

Ships operating in England are currently restricted to domestic sailings.

What does this mean for holidaymakers from England, Scotland and Wales? What are the rules elsewhere?

People hoping to go on foreign holidays this year will still be subject to travel restrictions in the EU and US, despite England's border changes - here we take a look at what the rules are in other popular destinations.

English travellers can travel to Spain - but there are conditions. Credit: AP
  • Spain

Spain has its own travel restrictions on arrivals from the UK however it is likely they would not stop a fully vaccinated person entering the country.

If Britons can prove they've had their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine longer than 14 days before their arrival in Spain, or that they've tested negative within 48 hours prior to their arrival, then they will be able to enter the country quarantine-free.

The same rules apply for Spain's islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca.

Travellers arriving from France on the Eurostar at St Pancras International railway station in London. Credit: PA
  • France

France is on the UK's 'Amber plus' list, which means it will be the only country in Europe from which fully-vaccinated travellers must still self-isolate when they arrive back in England.

Entering France from England is much easier, however, with no travel restrictions at all applying to those who have been twice vaccinated - as long as the second dose was more than seven days ago.

Those who have not been double-jabbed can still enter the country but you must provide proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test taken less than 24 hours before boarding.

  • Greece

Entry to Greece and its various islands is permitted without quarantine for people who can prove they've either been double-jabbed or have tested negative.

Unvaccinated people must show they've had a negative result from a laboratory PCR test taken within the past 72 hours, or a laboratory lateral flow test taken up to 48 hours before entry.

People can also enter Greece with proof that they've tested positive with Covid-19 in the past 30 to 180 days.

  • Italy

People arriving in Italy from the UK are subject to a five day period of quarantine, whether or not they have been vaccinated.

A coronavirus test must be taken on day five with a negative result in order to leave quarantine.

On Monday President Joe Biden announced America will continue its existing travel restrictions against the UK due to the Delta variant. Credit: AP
  • US

Britons are not permitted to enter the United States regardless of whether they have been fully-vaccinated or have recently tested negative for coronavirus.

The White House on Monday said it would “maintain existing travel restrictions” due to the increasing spread of the virus and rising case rates across Europe.

There are exemptions for permanent US residents and US citizens however these travellers will be subject to the restrictions of the state they are entering, which is likely to mean a period of quarantine.