UK-US travel to resume from November as restrictions eased for fully vaccinated

  • ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy explains the change to travel rules for UK-US travel

America has lifted its travel ban on people from the United Kingdom and Europe, meaning millions of people fully vaccinated against coronavirus will soon be allowed to visit the country.

The change to American border policy comes after health officials there decided to recognise Covid-19 vaccines administered in the UK and EU.

It means that from November anyone who has received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be allowed to enter America, so long as the last jab was at least two weeks before their arrival in the US, ITV News understands.

Travellers will also need proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of their flight, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients told a press briefing.

He said the new rules will take force from "early November", but did not confirm the exact date.

Boris Johnson suggested the rules would change before Thanksgiving, which is on November 25 this year.

New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that the move was “excellent news for travelers from the UK to the US. Important for out economic recovery, families and trade".

It will be the first time since March 2020 that people will be allowed to travel from the UK to the US after former president Donald Trump imposed a ban on arrivals from Europe in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

President Joe Biden had been resisting pressure from US aviation firms to lift the ban brought in by his predecessor, despite the UK announcing it would accept fully-vaccinated Americans back in July.

The news is likely to cause a surge in trans-Atlantic flight bookings, with new travel rules in England set to make flying a lot cheaper and simpler for the fully jabbed.

From October 4, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to pay for a pre-departure lateral flow test or a post-arrival PCR test when returning from countries not on the red list.

Another policy change coming on that date, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced, will be an opening up of England's borders to fully vaccinated travellers from countries including Canada and Japan.

He told MPs it will mean restriction free travel into England for the double-jabbed from 50 countries and territories.

The US requirement for UK and EU travellers to be fully vaccinated will apply to all nations, with the US keen to replace a patchwork of travel restrictions with the same border policy applying to all.

“This is based on individuals rather than a country based approach, so it’s a stronger system," Mr Zients said.

All vaccines given approval by the World Health Organization will be accepted by the US, including Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca, Janssen and Moderna.

The double-jab requirement will not apply to under 12s and a policy is still being developed for 12 to 18 year olds.