The UK is one of the countries that have experienced the most significant number of deaths due to Covid-19. The country has undergone a second wave even though it was amongst the first countries to begin vaccination. The new wave comes with a new variant that is considered more infectious; therefore, many countries canceled travel to the UK.
To mitigate the situation, the UK went into lockdown in early January and slowly began to ease its travel restrictions. These restrictions include who can go, countries that are still banned, quarantines, and Covid-19 tests. The UK has the most prominent cities globally, having architectural marvels, The Scottish Highlands, Welsh lakes, Cornish beaches, and historic towns.
If you intend on traveling to the UK, there are a few things you need to expect and know if you plan to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main include the Coronavirus tests and ESTA visa for America.
MANDATORY COVID-19 TESTS
Travelers entering the UK and British citizens are expected to present a negative Coronavirus test that is taken within 72 hours on arrival, and this policy has been there since January 18th, but previously no tests were required. You can book your Covid-19 test before you travel and quarantine in a hotel or the place you will be staying for the said ten days on arrival in England. You will be required to show the passenger locator form when you board a plane, ferry, or train and when you arrive in the UK.
Mandatory hotel quarantine is required of visitors from ‘red list’ countries announced by England from February 15th. Scotland also announced ‘managed quarantine’ for all travelers on February 15th. Visitors are required to quarantine for ten days when they arrive, and it will take place at a hotel or home of residence. Those who test negative are still needed to quarantine. Every four nations of the UK have a slight difference in their travel restrictions.
Once quarantined in a household, other members are not expected to quarantine unless they have also arrived or if one member of the home has tested positive for Covid-19 or a member develops the Coronavirus symptoms. England enforced a ‘test to release’ that allows travelers to take the PCR test after five quarantine days, then they can proceed in the community so long as you get negative results. Travelers to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales can take the test.
Traveling between the four UK countries is restricted. Before you travel, ensure you provide your details by completing an online passenger locator form and provide proof for a negative Covid-19 test. You will be fined without your proof and filled form.
THE ESTA VISA
You will be required to have an ESTA visa for America, and you must apply online. Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, you can submit your ESTA application as approval is still ongoing and remains valid for 2 years. Ensure that you apply way before your travel date to avoid unnecessary delays.
Ensure that your passport is also valid since once it expires, your ESTA that you applied with the passport expires. Note that not all valid ESTA will be allowed to travel to the USA due to the temporary travel ban for people coming from areas considered as high risk. Therefore, ensure that you confirm whether the place you are coming from (transit or stay) is deemed to be high risk to avoid frustration.
Otherwise, Covid-19 has affected travel to the USA and also those who have the ESTA. It is essential to follow the regulations to avoid fines and ensure that you keep yourself safe during transit.