Hopes for summer holidays in the US dashed

Hopes that UK holidaymakers could visit the US this summer have been dashed after a White House official said existing restrictions on international travel will be maintained.

It is not possible for most European travellers, including those from the UK, to enter the US due to coronavirus fears.

The Associated Press reported that the policy will not be lifted due to the prevalence of variants of the virus in Europe.

Last week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans against travel to the UK in light of the country’s surge in cases.

Most European nations have relaxed restrictions on visitors from the US who are fully-vaccinated.

But the UK has kept the US on its amber list, meaning most arriving travellers must self-isolate for 10 days.

Ahead of last month’s G7 summit in Cornwall, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden launched a taskforce to make recommendations on safely restarting international travel.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that ministers are preparing to ease travel rules for expats returning to the UK from Sunday.

UK nationals living overseas who have had both doses of a coronavirus jab will no longer need to self-isolate when they arrive from an amber list country, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The exemption from quarantine currently only applies to people who were vaccinated under the UK programme, but the newspaper stated that the Government plans to recognise foreign jabs.

The Department for Transport has committed to holding a formal review of the rules for arriving travellers this week.

The Daily Telegraph also reported that ministers are expected to agree to a reciprocal deal on quarantine-free travel with 33 countries, which could lead to a surge in trips between the UK and the EU.

Those countries include much of Europe such as Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, plus some long-haul destinations including Barbados, Anguilla and the Cayman Islands.

There is also speculation that France could return to the amber travel list.

It was moved to so-called “amber plus” earlier this month, which means even UK travellers who are fully-vaccinated must self-isolate on their return from the country.

The Colorado river passes through the Grand Canyon (Martin Keene/PA)
The Colorado river passes through the Grand Canyon (Martin Keene/PA)

Speaking in the Commons last week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “By the end of this month, UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas will be able to talk to their GP, go through what vaccine they have had, and have it registered with the NHS that they have been vaccinated.

“The reason for the conversation with the GP is to make sure that whatever vaccine they have had is approved in the United Kingdom.

“Ultimately, there will be a co-ordination between the World Health Organisation, ourselves, the European regulator, the US regulator and other regulators around the world.

“Because we are working at speed, at the moment it is UK nationals and citizens who have had UK vaccinations who will be able to travel to amber list countries other than France and come back and not quarantine.

“We want to offer the same reciprocity as the 33 countries that recognise our app, and that will also happen very soon.”

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own rules in terms of the requirements for arrivals from overseas, but their rules are often closely linked to the position in England.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting