Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic kicked off the domino effect of countries around the world closing their borders, it has felt like one interminably long guessing game of where we can go—and what combination of tests, paperwork, and quarantine protocols would be required on arrival. After spending most of 2020 as personae non gratae in virtually every nation on earth, Americans—namely those who are fully vaccinated—have finally been able to enjoy a summer of international travel and unrestricted borders.
First, Greece began welcoming Americans back in May, followed shortly after by other European hotspots like France and Germany. Now, the United Kingdom, which encompasses England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, will reopen its borders to vaccinated tourists on August 2 (some citizens from the EU are also included in this list). Until now, American travelers entering the U.K. were required to quarantine for ten days. While that is no longer a rule, incoming travelers must present a vaccine card, complete a passenger locator form, have a negative pre-departure PCR test, and also be tested again on arrival (or at least before their second day in Britain). Those who are unvaccinated must quarantine.
While Europe is now ahead of the U.S. in vaccination rate, the Delta variant remains a serious concern around the world. Still, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted all Covid-19 restrictions in the U.K. on July 19, meaning only time will tell what kind of effect that will have on Delta's spread. Being fully vaccinated does not protect from transmitting, catching, and testing positive for the virus. And the U.S., which hasn't yet lifted travel restrictions for foreigners coming from certain countries (this includes most European nations, including the U.K.), requires citizens arriving from abroad to present a negative PCR or antigen test taken at least 3 days before their departure.
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