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UK Travel Restrictions and Resources

Updated: 23 Aug 2021

England has implemented a "traffic light" system for arrivals (which is similar but does have variations throughout other UK countries). Passengers fully vaccinated with vaccines authorised by the EMA and FDA in Europe and the USA will be able to travel to England from "amber" countries (includes the USA) without having to quarantine on arrival, from 4am 2 August 2021. Testing will be required before flying, and on day 2 after arrival. Proof of US residency and a passenger locator form will also be required. Scotland has since announced the same changes to the arrivals restrictions in place from 2 Aug. Read more about England's guidance from 2 Aug > or read here about Scotland's guidance from 2 Aug >

State Dept Advisory for the UK: Level 4: Do not travel to the UK.  Read more >

With this advisory level, travel is not recommended, and you should always check how your travel insurance may be affected or invalidated should you choose to travel.

Proof of Vaccination required: FDA approved full vaccination (from 2 August 2021).

What can I expect when I arrive in the UK?

England has the fewest remaining restrictions, with limits on gatherings relaxed to a large extent, pubs and restaurants open, and use of facemasks in public spaces advised. In Scotland and Wales, facemasks are mandatory on public transport and in shops and enclosed spaces. As with many places, most of the UK will have some recommendations such as enhanced hygiene measures and physical distancing. In hotels and bed & breakfast accommodation, it is always advisable to check the venue's own rules, for example with dining spaces slightly limited, you may need to book in advance for dinner or breakfast. But to a large extent, life feels quite normal and the rules still in place are quite easy to navigate. More info from the US Embassy >

Where can I get Covid tested in the UK?

Tests are widely available, but many international travelers (not covered under the NHS) may need to arrange private testing which varies from £40 - £500. The US Embassy has some information for regional testing.

Mandatory testing (day 2 after arrival) should be booked prior to travel Find out how to book this test in England here (the website contains links for other UK countries). In Scotland the tests must be booked from CTM and the pack costs £88, details are listed here.

Returning from the UK to the USA:

You will be subject to the latest CDC guidance on arrival into the United States , which includes the requirement to provide a negative Covid-9 test no more than 3 days before you return by air to the United States. You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. Please check state guidance for arrival from the UK.

Useful information resources:

US Embassy in UK Website

US State Department Travel Advisory for the UK

CDC Travel Advice Page

Covid Testing at Heathrow Airport

Covid Testing at Edinburgh Airport

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