The United Kingdom has dropped all COVID-19 restrictions and become the first major Western nation to ‘live with COVID-19’. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, told MPs the legal duty to self-isolate for those who test positive for COVID-19 will end on Thursday.
However, the United Kingdom government’s removal of all COVID-19 rules will take place in England for now. The other U.K nations—Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—will continue with their own COVID-19 policy due to devolved power from London. Rules between the four nations have differed since March 2020.
But if you’re visiting London, you’ll experience zero COVID-19 restrictions.
The Changes In England
- Travelers and U.K. citizens who test positive for COVID-19 no longer legally need to self isolate themselves when they are in England. Full responsibility now lies with the individual.
- The United Kingdom government has removed its power to enforce lockdowns on the British people.
- All mask mandates—including the withstanding mask mandate on London’s public transport—are now finished in England.
These were the only remaining restrictions left in England after the British government fully relaxed restrictions last month.
If travelers visit England, they’ll encounter:
- No curfews
- Zero social distancing laws
- No limit on gatherings
- No mask mandates
- All shops, bars, restaurants, and tourists attractions open with no restrictions
- No vaccine passports
The British Prime Minister said: “We have reached a stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation, away from banning certain courses of action, and compelling certain courses of action, in favour of encouraging personal responsibility.”
“Covid will not suddenly disappear so those who would wait for a total end to this war before lifting the remaining regulations would be restricting the liberties of the British people for a long time to come,”
“This government does not believe that this is right or necessary. Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society, our mental well-being, and on the life chances of our children, and we do not need to pay that heavy cost any longer,” the British Prime Minister added.
So How Does This Affect Travelers?
Travelers can now feel fully confident that they’ll visit a nation that’s returned to total normality. For many Americans, visiting Europe is complicated right now. Most EU nations still have COVID-19 restrictions, vaccine passports, and mask mandates. Britain—especially England—is the opposite.
However, the British government didn’t remove all travel entry restrictions. The United Kingdom has kept its passenger locator form despite rumors it would end today. Unfortunately, this news has frustrated the British travel industry, which wants to end all travel restrictions.
The Current Entry Requirements For Fully Vaccinated tourists:
- Fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to take any tests before or on arrival in the United Kingdom.
- Fully vaccinated travelers still need to complete the UK passenger locator form
The Current Entry Rules For Unvaccinated Tourists:
- Unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival in the United Kingdom.
- Unvaccinated travelers must take a COVID-19 test two days before traveling to the United Kingdom
- Finally, unvaccinated travelers must complete the UK passenger locator form
However, there is no quarantine on arrival for fully vaccinated or unvaccinated tourists arriving in the United Kingdom.
The COVID-19 Situation In The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is currently witnessing a sharp decrease in COVID-19 cases as the country reaches herd immunity. The current 7-day case average is 42,918; that’s a decrease from the 7-day case average of 182,908 in early January. The United Kingdom has fully vaccinated 72.7% of its population.
Although England isn’t the first country to drop all COVID-19 restrictions, this is a massive sign of an international return to normality. Fully vaccinated Americans can now visit London—or the rest of the United Kingdom—with complete ease.
Hopefully, the rest of Europe follows suit in the coming weeks; we’ve all been waiting for this for two very long years.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com