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Coronavirus update

Vaccination Update
As at 20th September a total of 93,059,140 doses of a coronavirus vaccine had been administered in the UK, with 48,593,019 people (89.4% of the population) receiving a first dose and 44,466,121 people (81.8%) receiving both doses.

International Travel Update
From Monday 4 October, the rules for international travel to England will change. The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories which will continue to be crucial in order to protect public health but with simplified travel measures being introduced for arrivals from the rest of the world.

Fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries will no longer have to take a pre-departure test prior to returning to England. They will still need to take a PCR test two days after arrival but, later in October, this test will be replaced with a cheaper and simpler lateral flow test – the government hopes this will be in place “for when people return from half-term breaks”

For unvaccinated passengers from non-red list countries, pre-departure tests as well as day 2 and day 8 post arrival PCR tests must be taken and the requirement to quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days remains – although the “Test to Release” scheme remains an option to reduce the self-isolation period.

The rules for travellers from red list countries – even if fully vaccinated – will not change. Pre-departure tests will still be required plus, on arrival, 11 nights quarantine in a managed hotel at a cost of £2,285 – plus two Covid 19 tests.

For further details, please see the latest government guidance which can be found here.

Please note that in addition to describing the changes being introduced from 4th October, the document also includes the current rules for international travel which are still in force until that date. It also includes guidance on the things you need to do when travelling abroad from England.

Travel to the USA
From early November, travellers from the UK and EU will be among those from 33 countries to be freed from the ban on entry to the USA imposed at the start of the Covid pandemic. All foreign visitors will need to show proof of vaccination and proof of a negative test taken within the previous three days but there will be no requirement for quarantine upon arrival.

At this point in time there is uncertainty as to whether unvaccinated children can accompany their parents and whether AstraZeneca vaccinated travellers could enter the country as this particular drug has yet to be recognised by the USA. UK government sources said they expected these issues would be resolved but confirmation from the US authorities is still awaited and further guidance would follow.