Making the announcement on Twitter, Grant Shapps, the secretary of state for transport in the UK, said that the new measures will come into force at 4am on 2 August (Monday).
“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK. From 2nd August at 4am people from these countries will be able to come to the England from an amber country without having to quarantine if they’re fully vaxxed.
“The changes will apply to fully vaxxed people with an FDA or EMA vaccine – they’ll still need to do the usual pre-departure test before arrival and take a PCR test on day 2 of returning to the England”.
He added: “We’re also able to confirm the restart of international cruises and flexible testing programmes to help keep key workers and drive our economic recovery. Whether you’re a family of a business, this is progress we can all enjoy.”
Until now, only citizens who had received their two doses of vaccine in the UK were exempt from the ten-day quarantine when returning to England, with the exception of a country considered to be at maximum risk.
The change will mean that any citizen who is fully vaccinated in the EU or US will be able to enter England without having to undertake quarantine, whether for tourism, business, visiting family or participating in sporting events.
Quarantine will still be mandatory for anyone travelling to England from an ”Amber+” country such as France or from red list countries where quarantine has to take place in a designated hotel.
All travellers arriving from “green” countries and vaccinated people arriving from “amber” areas, such as Spain, are exempt from isolation, although they must have negative tests before and after arriving in the country.
In a press release Grant Shapps added: “We’ve taken great strides on our journey to reopen international travel and today is another important step forward. Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade – this is progress we can all enjoy.
“We will of course continue to be guided by the latest scientific data but thanks to our world-leading domestic vaccination programme, we’re able to look to the future and start to rebuild key transatlantic routes with the US while further cementing ties with our European neighbours”.
A statement from the UK government said: “Travel continues to be different this summer, and while some restrictions remain in place passengers should expect their experience to be different and may face longer wait times than they are used to – although the government is making every effort to speed up queues safely. We will continue to rollout upgrades to our e-gates over the summer to automate checks for health requirements, with many e-gates already in operation and more to be added over the coming months to increase automated checks on passengers at airports”.