As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, rules regarding masks, travel, and more in the U.S. and other countries continue to be discussed or changed depending on the circumstances.
So far, we’ve shared that the U.S. may be considering some domestic travel restrictions, COVID-19 testing is required for international flights coming into the U.S., and COVID-19 testing may be required for domestic flights in the future. But, now we’re seeing some important updates coming out of the United Kingdom that could seriously impact travel plans.
According to CNN, vacations could be severely limited for those in the United Kingdom. CNN reports that officials have already warned that a foreign trip might not be possible during 2021 for those in the UK. But, now, the UK’s transport minister has said that even a staycation on home soil may be out of the question. CNN shares that the UK has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates, with nearly 4 million cases and over 115,000 deaths as of February 9th.
Grant Shapps, the UK transport minister, shared, “Until we know the route out of lockdown, which we can’t know until we have more data, more information on vaccines as well, please don’t go ahead and book holidays.” Shapps said it is too early to know what restrictions will be in place by the summer. So, Shapps advised people to “do nothing” until things are clearer.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I understand why people want to make plans now, but we’re just going to have to be a bit more patient.” More information about the situation is set to be shared later in February. Although more than 13 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the UK, the transport minister has said they’ll have to wait for other places to “catch up.”
With the high COVID-19 death rate in the UK and the emergence of new variants of the virus found in the UK and Brazil, the UK has been increasing its border restrictions. There are specific restrictions and rules that apply for UK and Irish residents who are planning to fly into the UK from countries on the UK’s “red list.” The “red list” includes places like South Africa, Portugal, and others. All other travelers (those who are not UK and Irish residents) who have visited countries on the “red list” 10 days before traveling to the UK are banned from entering. People who fail to comply with the requirements or try to hide that they’ve visited a high risk country before they arrive could face a 10-year prison sentence or fine.
Additionally, there are specific requirements for travelers coming to the UK from other countries that aren’t on the “red list,” including a required negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure, isolation for a set number of days when they arrive, and additional COVID-19 testing.
So, if you are from the UK and were planning to travel soon, even domestically, those plans may need to change. We’ll keep an eye out for more updates on this situation and other changes that might impact your future Disney trips.