If you’re waiting to get off on your next vacation, we don’t impute you.
This year has brought out the most powerful wanderlust in us all, particularly since much of the world is still off-limits to Americans. But last week, England performed a separate Test to Release plan that guaranteed to make travel more convenient.
Last Dec. 15, 2020, England started allowing tourists from some high-risk, non-travel corridor nations (including the U.S.) to enter England, quarantine for five days, and when test out of the balance of their quarantine.
Now, just 5 days later, many parts of England have become subordinated to new Tier 4 travel constraints that all but ended travel to, from, and within these regions — including London.
The new testing plan, which was announced in late November, was welcomed by the flight and travel industries, which have been trying as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But what is Test to Deliver exactly? How will it run? And is England swiftly a viable destination for Americans? Let’s get a closer look.
What is the travel passages list?
England opened its doors to travel — and for its citizens to travel overseas — in July. Since then, the state has completed a travel passage strategy to travel.
Destinations that it deems reliable have been featured on the list, and if you’re traveling to England from one of them (say, Bermuda, Australia, Israel, or Japan) you don’t need to separate upon arrival. That’s true whether you’re touring England from one of these nations or returning home to England from a trip abroad.
Destinations not featured on the list have remained subject to quarantine. In other words, arrivals into England from any non-travel passage country have been required to quarantine for a full 14 days.
Currently, 75 countries, regions, and territories are featured on England’s travel passageway list.
What is the Test to Release project?
Just this week, the English government revealed its Test to Release scheme. The schedule is the government’s answer to an agreement on the travel corridor list. With it, arrivals from non-travel passage countries can elect to have their quarantine time reduced from 14 days to five days.
Because the United States is not on the travel passage list, arrivals from America require quarantine when they arrive in England. After the Test to Release program took effect on Dec. 15, however, Americans have been able to go to England and quarantine for just five days. Get a COVID-19 PCR test, and skip the balance of their quarantine if the test comes back negative.
The traveler has to inform the government that they plan to utilize Test to Release and plan where they will receive their test after five days. The test must be obtained through a government-approved provider.
Ultimately, Test to Release cuts the quarantine period from 14 days to five days for visitors from non-travel corridor countries — including from the U.S.
Guests from places that are on the travel corridor list will proceed and will be exempt from any quarantine or testing requirement.
When did the schedule start?
The program officially began on Dec. 15, 2020. As of that date, arriving passengers to England remained to test out of a full 14 days of quarantine if they’re coming from a non-travel corridor country.
How do I inform the gov’t I want to use Test to Release for a degraded quarantine?
If an arriving traveler intends to test out of quarantine, they will need to let the council know on their passenger locator form. All arriving passengers to England — even those from travel passageway countries — have to complete a tourist locator form before their flight.
Look for a new option on the form where you can register if you plan to test out of a full 14 days of quarantine. You’ll also need to register at that time where you plan to take your PCR test.
You are also allowed to change your mind. For example, if you arrive in England and believe you will go through a full two-week quarantine and indicate that choice on your traveler locator form, you can resubmit your form at later date. The resubmission will need to show that you plan to take a test. Upon the receipt of a negative PCR test, thee can then leave your isolation.
How much will a test take?
Testing as part of the Test to Release plan must be provided through a government-approved single provider. In other words, you won’t be able to practice testing through the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).
Testing across the U.K. for travel use has largely settled on the pricey side. U.K. travelers have voiced disappointment over sky-high prices for fit-to-travel certificates. Many of the individual travel tests cost around £150.
Can I travel to England soon?
During the coronavirus pandemic, England has not closed its borders. Americans have been approved to visit England all along. However, there’s perpetually been a 14-day quarantine in place for visitors from addresses that the government has considered high risk.
Though the quarantine period has been reduced to five days if you are entering England from a non-travel passageway land and agree to take a test, travelers need to be informed that many areas in England, including London, are now under Tier 4 limitations.