England is a great country to visit, filled with beautiful scenery, history, and a lively culture. As a result, it is a popular tourist destination with lots of visitors from all over the world. In the recent months, however, England has been shaken by a terrorist attack at Manchester Arena, which killed at least 22 people. The attack was an act of terrorism, perpetrated by a suicide bomber who detonated explosives packed into his body. The attack was carried out by a man named Salman Abedi, who was born in the United Kingdom to Libyan parents.
Since the Brexit vote, the English have been divided, with some supporting the decision to leave the European Union, others fighting against it. You can now find both positions expressed on all sorts of pub signs, shop windows, and public transport billboards. As a result, an important question: how do we interact with people like this? One good way is to understand the other person’s viewpoint and try to understand their views, and do this without judgement.
The summer months are usually the busiest time of the year for travel, but this year near the end of June, I was lucky enough to take a trip over to England.. Read more about can u.s. citizens travel to uk right now and let us know what you think.
Throughout the second calendar year of the epidemic, England and the rest of the United Kingdom have been somewhat more cautious than the United States. National lockdowns were re-instituted shortly after New Year’s and lasted throughout winter, with non-essential stores and restaurants closed until April and hotels locked until May.
Although Americans were legally permitted to go to England, they were subjected to a long quarantine period (10 days, with the opportunity to “test out” after day five) and were forced to take numerous tests throughout their stay.
What’s Hot Right Now
Ye Olde England was, in essence, Ye Olde Closed.
However, that was back then, and this is today.
With almost 90% of its adult population having gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination, England has lately relaxed virtually all social restrictions and is now allowing double-vaccinated Americans to come without being quarantined as of August 2nd.
The tweet marking the end of the American quarantine. (Scott Hartbeck photo)
My parents flew into England to visit me on August 5th, three days after the quarantine requirement was lifted (the trip had been booked for months, so to say we got lucky! ), so we’ve just finished a crash course in entry requirements and have now seen firsthand what it’s like to visit England in the current climate.
So, how’s the transport situation in England right now? In a nutshell, it’s still quite amazing.
Entry of England
First and foremost, “no quarantine” does not imply that there are no restrictions.
However, for double-vaccinated tourists, entering England from the United States is very simple and requires just three steps prior to departure:
First, in the three days leading up to your trip to England, do a COVID-19 test and make sure it’s negative. Second, schedule and pay for a COVID-19 exam for your second or third day in England. Third, fill out a passenger locating form online.
Then, on or before your second day in England, just take your pre-arranged COVID-19 exam.
If you’re wondering, the regulations for unvaccinated Americans are the same as for other visitors in the spring: they must test negative before leaving and then be quarantined for 10 days, with the option of “testing out” after day five.
It’s worth mentioning that you’ll need to submit a negative COVID-19 test within three days of returning home, but that’s a condition for re-entry into the United States. So you’ll have to take three exams, but only two of them are needed for admission to England. This “return home” exam may be anything from an English drugstore to a quick test at the airport before your departure.
At Manchester Airport, there is a testing center. (Scott Hartbeck photo)
While taking two exams may seem daunting and/or complex, it is really very simple. You can find all the specifics about the kind of test you’ll need to take before leaving here, but rest assured that it’s nothing fancy; my parents got theirs at the local CVS.
In terms of the exam you’ll need to take once you arrive, the UK Government’s website lists hundreds of authorized providers, some of which provide onsite testing and others who give mail-in tests at various rates.
We chose an alternative route and had my parents take their “On or Before Day 2” exam with Collinson as soon as they arrived at Manchester Airport. This service is now available at all major airports in England, and I highly recommend it.
They found out their findings the following day on the internet and were able to completely enjoy their holiday, err vacation, from then on.
Obviously, if you tested positive, you’d have to isolate yourself here.
Scenery in the Yorkshire Dales. (Scott Hartbeck photo)
The Exciting Stuff
So, now that we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, let’s get to the fun part: the actual traveling.
But, to answer the major issue that’s surely on your mind: If you go to England right now, would you receive the “whole experience”?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
Everything is open, all social restrictions have been lifted, and crowds to Premier League soccer games have returned this past weekend. Masks are no longer required, although they are nevertheless advised for use inside, on public transit, and in congested areas. In fact, as I write this, we’re all getting ready to attend the Ebor Festival races at York Racecourse, an occasion that would have been nothing more than a pipe dream just a few months ago.
We’ve eaten out a lot, seen a lot of tourist sites, rode a lot of trains, and generally had a good time during the past two weeks. To be honest, the main difference between pre-pandemic life and post-pandemic life is that most people are wearing masks in stores and on public transit, and hand sanitizer is available nearly everywhere.
Take it from me when I say that the Yorkshire Dales are just as beautiful as you remember them. The English Coast is just as beautiful as it was before. The medieval churches are as beautiful as ever, and the rural homes are just as charming as you remember.
Oh, and the bars are still serving pints like they used to.
England is usually a fantastic destination and one of the greatest places to get your feet wet with European travel, so it should come as no surprise that it’s the ideal location for your first post-pandemic vacation overseas.
We’ll talk again shortly.
If you’ve never been outside of the U.S. and you’ve always wanted to go, to see the sights and experience the culture, there’s an easy way to do so. Just book a ticket and go! Prices for international travel in the UK are still really low and there are lots of deals to be had. If you’re an American citizen, you can even get a free two-week trip to see your relatives in the UK.. Read more about london travel restrictions and let us know what you think.
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Is it safe to fly to England right now?
It is safe to fly to England right now.
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