The United Kingdom (UK) has relaxed travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents beginning July 19, 2021, but quarantine requirements for foreign travelers will continue for now. As reported previously, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to relax quarantine requirements for travelers entering England from “amber listed” countries as part of a five point program to return the UK to normal operations. He promised details would be issued soon after, and on July 8th UK Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps revealed a phased approach to amending restrictions, first lifting quarantines for fully vaccinated UK travelers and sometime later this summer lifting them for vaccinated nonresidents traveling to the UK from amber listed destinations. He did not provide a target date.
This means that most international hunters with trips booked to the UK will have to wait until the second phase of the plan is announced. While fully vaccinated citizens and residents of the UK will no longer need to quarantine upon returning home from “amber-listed” countries, nonresidents allowed to enter the UK still face 10-day quarantines and multiple tests after arrival.
The UK categorizes countries according to a green, amber and red system, reflecting COVID threat levels. Green-listed countries have had the lowest threshold of restrictions, requiring only a negative COVID-19 test and two follow-up tests, one on day two of entering the UK and the second test required on day eight, but no quarantine. Travelers from amber-listed countries must do the same testing, as well as self-isolate for 10 days at home or wherever they are staying. As for red-listed countries, only residents from the UK may enter after a 10-day managed quarantine in a government approved hotel. For now, the red list remains in place and all unvaccinated travelers from the UK and all foreign travelers will continue to quarantine upon arrival from amber-listed countries.
The amber list includes more than 60 countries. Among them is the United States and Canada as well as many countries in European, West Africa, Asia (from the Middle East to the Far East), plus the Caribbean and South America. See the complete list on the UK Government website.
The red list includes just over 50 countries, including a number of important hunting destinations such as Argentina, Botswana, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
While these restrictions are specific to England and apply generally to all the countries in the United Kingdom, travelers should check for differences if going to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.
While the revised UK restrictions mean UK residents returning from the US and Canada may enter without quarantine, both the US and Canada remain closed to most travelers from abroad. Currently, Canada is open only to essential traffic and Canadian residents, whether fully vaccinated or not. The US currently will not accept any travelers from the UK nor the surrounding Schengen region of Europe, except for returning US residents.
SCI will continue following these developments. To receive news coverage on travel issues affecting hunters, sign up for SCI News, an email newsletter distributed every other week (scroll to the very bottom on the website homepage at www.safariclub.org). SCI members may also contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at www.safariclub.org/contact for the latest information on hunting travel.