The USA Travel Ban Against The UK Needs To End

114

I’m curious if anyone can provide a reasonable explanation for this…

State Department lowers risk for UK travel

Here in the USA, the State Department publishes travel advisories, putting countries into one of four categories based on perceived risk:

  • Level 1 is “exercise normal precautions”
  • Level 2 is “exercise increased caution”
  • Level 3 is “reconsider travel”
  • Level 4 is “do not travel”

Recently a majority of countries in the world were given a “Level 4” rating, with the State Department warning people not to travel to those countries. I won’t argue the merits of that, because it’s besides the point. What’s interesting is that as of yesterday the UK has been lowered to a “Level 3” rating, meaning that Americans should only “reconsider travel” to the UK, rather than avoiding travel altogether.

In other words, the State Department considers the UK one of the safer countries to travel to. That’s well deserved when you consider how well the UK has done with coronavirus cases and vaccinations in recent months, and that the country is now seeing single-digit deaths many days.

Yet somehow the UK is on the USA’s travel ban list?

Despite how well the UK is doing with coronavirus, it’s one of the places on the USA’s travel ban list, along with the Schengen area, Brazil, South Africa, and India. This means that if you’ve been in the UK in the past 14 days you can’t travel to the USA, unless you’re a resident of the USA, or meet one of the other exceptions.

The travel ban against the UK was first introduced back in March 2020, when the UK did indeed see a fair number of coronavirus cases. Yet over a year later the UK is among the best countries in the world in terms of both cases and vaccinations, yet it remains on the travel ban list for the USA?

We always hear about “following the science,” but so often decisions clearly aren’t actually based on science. Or at least they’re based on outdated data.

To be clear, this has been an issue with both the previous and current administrations, where these kinds of bans are put in place, but then not actually updated to reflect reality:

  • If this is about generally discouraging international travel, then maybe all countries should be put on the travel ban list, rather than just keeping the lists based on outdated data?
  • The UK has received a lot of criticism for its “traffic light” system of travel restrictions, but that’s at least actually based on recent data, including infection rates and vaccinations
  • By all accounts someone traveling from the UK to the USA isn’t higher risk than anyone already in the US, and arguably is lower risk, especially when you consider the pre-travel testing requirement

Why does the UK ban Americans, though?

Some might say “well this is just reciprocal, since the UK doesn’t allow Americans to visit.” Not quite:

  • The UK doesn’t have a travel ban against people who have been in the USA, but rather has a quarantine requirement for anyone who isn’t on a list of “green” countries that don’t have this requirement
  • Recently when the UK updated its list of countries there was speculation that the USA would be on the list, but that wasn’t the case; I do think there’s a political element to this, and the UK won’t lift restrictions if the USA still baselessly bans people from the UK
  • The reality is that as of now the UK is doing significantly better than the USA in terms of coronavirus cases and deaths, though hopefully the situation in here continues to improve considerably in the coming weeks

Personally I think if the USA lifts the UK travel ban, we’ll see the USA added to the UK’s “green” list soon enough, assuming things continue to improve.

Bottom line

Somehow the USA continues to ban travelers from the UK, even though the UK is doing incredibly well with both vaccinations and coronavirus cases. While I’m no scientist or epidemiologist, I certainly can’t come up with any reason the UK should be on the same list as Brazil and India.

I totally get if the government is just generally trying to discourage travel, but at least make decisions based on current data. There had been rumors a while back that the USA would start lifting travel bans around mid-May. Here’s to hoping that this is actually the case, and that the UK travel ban is lifted in the coming days…

Can anyone make sense of the USA continuing to ban travelers from the UK?

Conversations (114)
Oldest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Alonzo

    Why would any reasonable person expect the US to do anything that makes sense? Those levels for travel restrictions are a joke. Mexico is a level 4 yet it's the most frequented destination in the past 3 months by US travelers.

  2. Ed

    Agreed, it needs to happen quickly so I can quit spamming the refresh button on my Google search for “UK vaccinated tourists” and book a June trip!

  3. La

    The UK requirements isn’t just a quarantine.
    You need to be eligible to enter like British Citizen/Resident.
    So Americans will still be barred from entering anyways.

    1. Ben

      @ La -- That's not true. Americans can enter the UK, they just have to quarantine.

  4. Fabrizio

    I’m a UK resident and I think that the recent UK traffic light system is indeed based on data, but only up to a certain point. Looking at the documentation released as a follow up from the Green and Red list updates, they only published data for the countries and territories in the Green list and on the 3-4 new entrants on the Red one.
    With regards to the US and others still being...

    I’m a UK resident and I think that the recent UK traffic light system is indeed based on data, but only up to a certain point. Looking at the documentation released as a follow up from the Green and Red list updates, they only published data for the countries and territories in the Green list and on the 3-4 new entrants on the Red one.
    With regards to the US and others still being Amber, I think that the UK Border Force being unable to handle more passengers than now is another crucial factor.

    The head of UKBF was at one of No. 10 briefings and said as much; they can’t cope with the current level of detail when doing border checks as it’s mostly manual (and let’s be honest they’ve always been hopeless). And indeed, despite passenger numbers being 10/20% of what they used to be in 2020, queues have gotten so bad at LHR that they’ve been called “inhuman”.

    There are hopes that, eventually, Priti Patel’s people will implement some technology to reduce the need for paper and manual controls. But until then...

  5. Gomez__

    Woah be careful criticizing our lord and savior Biden. He cant do any wrong so if he wants to ban UK and India than he must be right and have the science behind him!

  6. ChrisC

    Ben please stop saying that there is a US travel ban against the EU because that is just wrong.

    The ban is against Schengen.

    Not all EU members are in Schengen.

    And there are Schengen members who aren't in the EU.

    The Presidential Proclamations don't mention the EU. They mention Schengen.

    1. Ben

      @ ChrisC -- Good point, thank you. Post updated.

  7. Tim

    The current US positivity rate according to our world
    In data is over 6% (yesterday) while UK is 0.2%

    That’s a case load 30 times higher than the UK

    I understand the US not being on the UK green list

  8. Creditcrunch

    As another Brit we have a major unlocking sequence taking place next week that will be the biggest so far with indoor dining in pubs and restaurants, cinemas, theatre’s and concert venues reopening, hotels open for leisure travel and quite a few more things. It goes without question that cases will increase but we are hopeful that the amount of subsequent hospital admissions and deaths remain low, it takes about 2/3 weeks to see what...

    As another Brit we have a major unlocking sequence taking place next week that will be the biggest so far with indoor dining in pubs and restaurants, cinemas, theatre’s and concert venues reopening, hotels open for leisure travel and quite a few more things. It goes without question that cases will increase but we are hopeful that the amount of subsequent hospital admissions and deaths remain low, it takes about 2/3 weeks to see what impact this unlock has and with your President attending the G7 here in Cornwall next month it’s widely predicted that he will make a joint announcement with our PM about a travel corridor between are 2 countries if the numbers are favourable.

  9. La

    Might’ve confused it with the EU countries mu bad.
    Which is totally based on citizenship.
    So I sit next to a French guy in my office (Abu Dhabi) , he’s low risk and can go to France and back.
    However, I’m considered High risk and I can’t enter.
    Not even with Quarantine
    Even if we both do PCR tests.
    Travel restrictions in 2021 aren’t about public safety anymore. It’s...

    Might’ve confused it with the EU countries mu bad.
    Which is totally based on citizenship.
    So I sit next to a French guy in my office (Abu Dhabi) , he’s low risk and can go to France and back.
    However, I’m considered High risk and I can’t enter.
    Not even with Quarantine
    Even if we both do PCR tests.
    Travel restrictions in 2021 aren’t about public safety anymore. It’s based on Xenophobia and “saving face”.
    I could go on with more examples.
    Poland, only EU citizens can enter from overseas and can skip quarantine if vaccinated. But again I can’t enter even when I’m vaccinated.
    Very Rational. God Bless

  10. LG

    As a Brit with strong family and business ties to the US, I find it intensely annoying that, on my one trip to the US in the last year, I had to waste 15 days in Mexico, where COVID was rampant, before I could enter the US.

    Quarantine is justifiable but forcing visitors to risk infection is beyond idiotic.

  11. Jordan

    The USA is on a 7-day average of nearly 40,000 cases PER DAY!

    Granted, its not the 300,000 + at its peak, but 40K is a major number. Each country measures the numbers by country (and not state). Since numbers are essentially low in FL, CA, NY and a few others - the busiest routes to/from the UK.

    I think its very important to remind people with regard to the UK Quarantine, that it falls...

    The USA is on a 7-day average of nearly 40,000 cases PER DAY!

    Granted, its not the 300,000 + at its peak, but 40K is a major number. Each country measures the numbers by country (and not state). Since numbers are essentially low in FL, CA, NY and a few others - the busiest routes to/from the UK.

    I think its very important to remind people with regard to the UK Quarantine, that it falls into two categories.

    (1) RED - Quarantine in hotel at your own expense.

    (2) Amber - "Quarantine" ;-) at home.

    I've told Americans dozens of times that they can travel to the UK (yet, they still believe they cant) * eye roll * Savvy American travelers know how to research, and legally work with the above.

  12. monopod

    The more inexplicable thing is the fact that China remains on the US travel ban list even though it is probably one of the safest places on Earth when it comes to coronavirus right now.

  13. Andrew

    “ I do think there’s a political element to this, and the UK won’t lift restrictions if the USA still baselessly bans people from the UK”

    I think this is unlikely to be the case, given Australia and New Zealand have been placed on the green list and they have some of, if not the, most stringent restrictions.

  14. AdamK

    I suspect there’s another possibility: that as we now the UK and US have a very close relationship and have bilaterally decided not to ease restrictions (the UK doesn’t want to encourage travel, the green list is a highly tentative start). And thus a joint announcement when the time is right that the US is going to Green and the U.K. ban is being revoked, possibly as of the same date.

  15. Sam G

    @Jordan - UK is stepping up enforcement of amber quarantine, I wouldn't want anyone coming here on the basis that they think it can be safely ignored as you'll potentially up with a large fine

    You can however take an additional "test to release" after 5 days so it's still doable for a longer trip as long as you are willing to obey the laws of your host country and stay in your accommodation until then.

  16. Ole

    Sorry but why is tgere desperation for international travel? Why do people believe, covid is contained?

    1. Katie

      Well, I'm in the US, fully vaccinated. My fiance is in the UK, fully vaccinated. Our wedding for April 3rd 2020 was obviously cancelled. It made sense then. It no longer makes sense that he cannot travel here so we can finally get married over a year after our original wedding date. We haven't seen each other in person since December 5, 2019. His spousal visa approval will likely take about two years time, of...

      Well, I'm in the US, fully vaccinated. My fiance is in the UK, fully vaccinated. Our wedding for April 3rd 2020 was obviously cancelled. It made sense then. It no longer makes sense that he cannot travel here so we can finally get married over a year after our original wedding date. We haven't seen each other in person since December 5, 2019. His spousal visa approval will likely take about two years time, of which he still has to live in the UK and me here, so more time separated , and we're not young and we would simply like to spend the years we have left together.

  17. Travel Girl

    Being Brits, permanent residents, here in Florida and fully vaccinated, not having seen family since December 2019.

    Although we can travel there we would still need to self-isolate for 2 weeks... Although we have not seen family for so long and missed several major occasions I am happy they are not letting Americans, or any other citizens in - so many countries INCLUDING USA, have not managed the pandemic well and continue to "live life...

    Being Brits, permanent residents, here in Florida and fully vaccinated, not having seen family since December 2019.

    Although we can travel there we would still need to self-isolate for 2 weeks... Although we have not seen family for so long and missed several major occasions I am happy they are not letting Americans, or any other citizens in - so many countries INCLUDING USA, have not managed the pandemic well and continue to "live life as if nothing was wrong" .. They are now coming out of lockdown which has proved successful - why should they open their borders to "irresponsibles" ?!?!?!?!?!

  18. GUWonder

    The UK Border is so slow to cross at times during the pandemic that opening the gates of UK-US travel will come with a problem when those visitors to the US get back to the UK unless something significantly different is done than is currently the case.

  19. RAM

    Just end the bans in general, if the governments are so paranoid then just make everyone take a quick temperature test and sign a document at check in declaring that they don't have the stinkin' virus.
    Some people are gonna catch it, and like it or not, 99% of those people are going to live.
    Bans don't work, they don't save lives, they only cause people to get more pissed off at the high and mighty nimrods who issued them in the first place.

  20. Qi Chu

    why China is banned. It's not really based on number of cases, is it?

  21. MMcG

    You all need to learn from us here in Koalastan. Closed borders until 2022 or 2023, even if you’re vaccinated or from a country with zero Covid.

    Foreign people carry diseases, why don’t you understand this in the USA and UK? Here in Perth we lockdown if there is even one case.

    Remember that lockdowns save lives and we are all in this together!

  22. Michael J

    Amen. My fiance is in the UK and hasn't been able to come here for over a year. I just don't see a reason for the continued ban, even for those vaccinated. Time for some common sense approaches.

  23. Lisa M

    Well, you can call me a "hopeful or delusional or a little of both". I have my trip booked to London for the end of November of this year. I keep watching and waiting. I have tickets booked for the V&A and for the West End. I'm putting it out there in the universe and hoping for the very best for all of us. This has been tough. I too think that after the summit...

    Well, you can call me a "hopeful or delusional or a little of both". I have my trip booked to London for the end of November of this year. I keep watching and waiting. I have tickets booked for the V&A and for the West End. I'm putting it out there in the universe and hoping for the very best for all of us. This has been tough. I too think that after the summit and numbers continue to decrease, that we will see restrictions lift. I honestly could not believe when I looked at the upcoming "Green List" as of May 17th, that the US was not on it. But, I cannot say I blame the UK at all. You have to take care of your own. I wish everyone well during the expansion of freedoms in the UK next week.

  24. Dexter Hinkson

    With the B.1.617 variant in the in UK it may be a while before restrictions are lifted. Although it's in the US as well

  25. K

    Trump actually reversed this ban as he left office, but it was reinstated by Biden for whatever reason.

    Nobody's following the science anymore, unfortunately. It's all political.

    1. Ben

      @ K -- I wouldn't exactly call that a good faith reversal of travel restrictions, as he proposed lifting restrictions for after he left office.

  26. Brian L.

    For everyone saying Biden should lift the ban - he has absolutely no incentive to do that. If the UK dropped its restrictions on Americans, then he might have some incentive to do something. But unless that happens, he really has nothing to gain by letting Brits into the US.

    1. Ben

      @ Brian L. -- I'm not sure I get the "no incentive" argument. Shouldn't travel restrictions be based on science and not incentives?

  27. Joe Chivas

    I trust Joe Biden. He's following the science and he wouldn't ban Brits if they weren't a real threat. If you question Joe's decisions then you're just another Trump-loving racist.

    1. Katie

      Well this isn't a fair assumption. I don't trust joe and I loathe trump more than just about anyone ever

  28. Jim

    There's probably some backroom dealing behind this, which I would suggest tracks as follows.
    - Western countries, broadly speaking, cannot prohibit people en banc from leaving (individuals can be barred for reasons of their own conduct, but not in class for broad reasons)
    - Western countries, broadly speaking, cannot prohibit their own citizens from returning (they can make it difficult, i.e. by requiring medical tests to get on a common carrier - hence,...

    There's probably some backroom dealing behind this, which I would suggest tracks as follows.
    - Western countries, broadly speaking, cannot prohibit people en banc from leaving (individuals can be barred for reasons of their own conduct, but not in class for broad reasons)
    - Western countries, broadly speaking, cannot prohibit their own citizens from returning (they can make it difficult, i.e. by requiring medical tests to get on a common carrier - hence, for example, why the US testing requirement does not apply to land crossing; but they can't prohibit the return itself)
    - Any country can prohibit, individually or in class, entry to non-citizens for any reason, or no reason at all
    - Europe (including Britain) wants to limit international travel to avoid a "boom" in transmissions
    - But Europe (including Britain) cannot prohibit its own citizens from traveling to somewhere and coming back from that somewhere
    - Europe can, however, quietly ask the U.S. to maintain a travel ban whose mathematical logic has long since elapsed - because the U.S. can prohibit non-US citizens from entry
    - The US, for the time being, has no particular incentive to deny such a request

    That said, I suspect that this can't last much longer. As you mentioned, the math really doesn't support this anymore, and the potential $ from European tourism will eventually overwhelm whatever weak residual arguments might be left.

  29. Roman

    @Joe Chivas Umm, Biden wears a mask on a zoom call.

  30. iamhere

    And China is a level 4...China is where many believe that the virus began but the authorities have done a great job at controlling it, but there's almost no difference from pre-virus in terms of people resuming their life.

  31. Tim Dunn

    Now that Israel is going to be "off line" as a travel destination for a bit, travel between the UK and US makes sense. Unfortunately, too many governments have grown comfortable with the notion that people should just stay home.

  32. Jeff

    T minus how many minutes until we learn that Ben has booked or is already in the UK on vacation?

  33. Jenn Lloyd

    Today major airline CEOs in the US and UK called for a summit to speed up reestablishment of US-UK travel. Very curious where this goes.

    Come on, Secretary Pete, let’s figure this out!

  34. Henry

    As a Brit living in the USA with a mortgage and lying taxes I have been unable to travel and have not seen my family since Christmas Day 2019. I have an L1A visa and the immigration lawyer tells me that a difficult TSA staff could just refuse to readmit me.

    To people saying we don’t need to go on vacation I agree I just want to see my family.

  35. Lisa M

    I am so sorry, Henry. It is really hard on so many people. I, for one, don't have family in the UK, but I love it there. It is much more important for you to be able to see your family. The possibility of someone giving you a hard time on re-entry into the US is just ridiculous. They really need to get this sorted out and give us some definitive guidelines. Can the British Embassy help at all? Or is that just a silly question?

  36. Fathima

    As a Brit on work visa in the US, these bans have been really testing especially as your article points out when these restrictions are not updated to reflect current data.

    Whilst I can travel bck home to visit family I won’t be able to return to the US as only permanent residents and citizens have been granted tht privilege. Of course, I have the option to waste away 14day elsewhere before returning but...

    As a Brit on work visa in the US, these bans have been really testing especially as your article points out when these restrictions are not updated to reflect current data.

    Whilst I can travel bck home to visit family I won’t be able to return to the US as only permanent residents and citizens have been granted tht privilege. Of course, I have the option to waste away 14day elsewhere before returning but is tht really even a realistic option...

    Similarly, my family can’t visit us here due to the same restrictions. It’s like we have been trapped here, praying and hoping that no emergency arises in the family that would really test our patience...

  37. Will in SJC

    @Henry you are not the only one and I agree 100%.

    To my mind the sensible route to re-opening would be for the US to allow those of us who are on non-immigrant visas (e.g.: L1, E2 etc) to travel without restrictions promptly. That would be a decent first step and would mirror what US nationals in the UK on visas currently have.

    It can then be followed by wider opening in both directions (e.g.: if you have had the vaccine) between the US/UK.

  38. Ed

    The UK government is going to be very cautious. It opened up up to fast last summer and even paid people to spread the virus. Of course this year is different there is a high level of vaccination, but it’s still not up to herd immunity levels. Politically another lockdown is untenable. Bear in mind the UK just had its first day with no COVID deaths since last July.

    Whilst the evidence is getting...

    The UK government is going to be very cautious. It opened up up to fast last summer and even paid people to spread the virus. Of course this year is different there is a high level of vaccination, but it’s still not up to herd immunity levels. Politically another lockdown is untenable. Bear in mind the UK just had its first day with no COVID deaths since last July.

    Whilst the evidence is getting stronger every day that the vaccines reduce transmission it’s far from proven; and every new variant might be the one with the mutation that evades a vaccine.

    Caution will remain for a while and I could see the US and a lot of other countries remain at least on the UK orange and red lists through the autumn, if not till next year.

  39. KC

    Brit expat in the US here. I expect the state department and the foreign office are speaking and figuring things out, and we’ll soon let UK (and possibly EU) residents in with just a pre-flight negative covid test. What I have a problem with is travel TO the UK. Yes, we can travel to the UK, but they don’t give a flying if we’ve been vaccinated (in my case, fully vaccinated for 6 weeks). We...

    Brit expat in the US here. I expect the state department and the foreign office are speaking and figuring things out, and we’ll soon let UK (and possibly EU) residents in with just a pre-flight negative covid test. What I have a problem with is travel TO the UK. Yes, we can travel to the UK, but they don’t give a flying if we’ve been vaccinated (in my case, fully vaccinated for 6 weeks). We all still have to test before (I don’t mind this), and pre-book 2 more tests at extortionate prices, and quarantine (I do mind this). If/when the US is added to the green list it will be easier, but again, they don’t appear to care about vaccination status when really they should. “Amber country and vaccinated? Good - come on in with a negative test, and there’s no quarantine”. The EU at least are looking at that. At this rate, I’ll still be Zooming family back in the UK, but from the Amalfi coast this summer.

  40. Robert

    I'm sure an announcement will be made to lift most of the current rules/restrictions as part of Mr. Biden's visit to the UK in June. Part of politics is timing. He has to have something to announce ... this seems like low hanging fruit.

  41. Brian L.

    @Ben - If travel restrictions are supposed to be based on "science," why do returning US citizens have to take a covid test, even if they're vaccinated? If the vaccines are as good as the scientists say they are, what's the test for?

  42. Mak

    Far more absurd is the continuation of the travel ban for China and Chinese, a country which has had Covid under control for well over a year, and is absolutely pointless.

  43. James T. Walmsley

    My Daughter is getting married in the UK In June. All arrangements have been made. As of today, we have no idea if the guests will be limited to 6 or 30.
    I believe the US being on the amber list is a result of the PM’s retaliation to Biden’s or election.

  44. samuel

    I don't see what all the fuss is about this point. Both countries should open up travel to those who have been fully vaccinated without having them to quarantine WITH the understanding that they must still adhere to any local/regional health guidelines during their visit (i.e. mask usage). If they are found to be in violation of them, then they are subject to deportation and/or fine. Further reopening delays are costing both countries economically.

    ...

    I don't see what all the fuss is about this point. Both countries should open up travel to those who have been fully vaccinated without having them to quarantine WITH the understanding that they must still adhere to any local/regional health guidelines during their visit (i.e. mask usage). If they are found to be in violation of them, then they are subject to deportation and/or fine. Further reopening delays are costing both countries economically.

    Case in point, I was ready to jump on that United 40th anniversary points sale last week. Cash rate from SFO-LHR was roughly $1500 RT for coach for the end of June. The same ticket could be had for only 40K points RT and $200 in tax. But because of the quarantine requirement, we decided to pass and look elsewhere.

  45. Matt R

    The China travel ban could have ended a year ago. Don't expect things to change for the UK anytime soon.

  46. Icarus

    It’s completely absurd Americans can travel to the U.K. without a visa, although they gave to quarantine and prebook 2 Covid tests before boarding a flight. Yet U.K. nationals cannot visit the U.S unless they have a visa. Even during normal times they have to apply and pay for an ESTA.

    Meanwhile rates in the USA are significantly higher ie around 0.002% in the U.K. versus 0.01% in the US. If anything the U.K....

    It’s completely absurd Americans can travel to the U.K. without a visa, although they gave to quarantine and prebook 2 Covid tests before boarding a flight. Yet U.K. nationals cannot visit the U.S unless they have a visa. Even during normal times they have to apply and pay for an ESTA.

    Meanwhile rates in the USA are significantly higher ie around 0.002% in the U.K. versus 0.01% in the US. If anything the U.K. should place the US on a red list with mandatory hotel quarantine. Once Americans are able to travel ,there should also be an electronic visa waiver application at a nominal fee.

  47. Lamplight

    In the UK we have been (upon the whole) incredibly diligent as citizens, while the NHS has implemented a really amazing national vaccination programme. Those two things have been a bumpy ride but now we're seeing the fruits of our labour as mentioned ^ - next week we get more restrictions eased.

    So to see the stark contrasts with Americans on Spring break, at crowded theme parks, rallies, malls - in general life - acting...

    In the UK we have been (upon the whole) incredibly diligent as citizens, while the NHS has implemented a really amazing national vaccination programme. Those two things have been a bumpy ride but now we're seeing the fruits of our labour as mentioned ^ - next week we get more restrictions eased.

    So to see the stark contrasts with Americans on Spring break, at crowded theme parks, rallies, malls - in general life - acting like they are invincible? I'm quite happy the UK government is so far not allowing them/many people into the UK. Why would we want that sort of careless contingent coming in and upsetting the delicate balance we are forging? Wanting to visit the *&$%ing V&A is not any kind of valid reason to allow that risk!

    (And yes I have loved ones I am desperate to see overseas too, but I understand the rules work both ways. )

  48. Steve

    My US girlfriend and I have been in isolation due to her health since March 2020. We were in New Jersey March to August 2020 and then travelled to the UK. We have both been isolating together and are now both fully vaccinated. She has to travel back to the US today. Despite presenting exactly the same (miniscule) risk, I'm not allowed to return with her because I'm British. It appears to be political rather than scientific.

  49. craig saunders

    being in the UK, at the moment, being British, its difficult now , to understand why UK , not allowed to visit USA, if vaccinated, etc, I keep looking ay Delta / Virgin flights, and they keep moving their flights, from uk to USA, its not something like 18/20 th June, it is showing via, france, holland, where there is more covid , than uk, so come on Binden,or who every is in charge of...

    being in the UK, at the moment, being British, its difficult now , to understand why UK , not allowed to visit USA, if vaccinated, etc, I keep looking ay Delta / Virgin flights, and they keep moving their flights, from uk to USA, its not something like 18/20 th June, it is showing via, france, holland, where there is more covid , than uk, so come on Binden,or who every is in charge of him, lets get flying again, so we can see the good old USA and its Citizens, we are all haveing withdrawal symptoms

  50. John Gresham

    @craig Saunders

    Did you catch punctuationitis whilst living in the USA? Is it infectious? A 'Yes' answer to either of those questions would be reason enough to restrict travel.

  51. Miamiorbust

    Quite a range of views - nearly all largely wrong. Your house just burned down. You don’t take time out to tend the garden. You set about rebuilding the house and worry about the garden another day. Your travel needs are not your government’s biggest concern. They’ll get around to the garden - eventually. Is anyone on Team Biden really going to vote for a Republican due to current pace of change in travel bans? Didn’t think so….

  52. Tom

    The fact U.K. nationals are still banned from entering the USA is absolutely ridiculous and Biden should be held accountable for it. It’s HIS proclamation stopping people from seeing their loved ones and this is having severe consequences on people’s mental health. The fact is more people in the U.K. are currently dying of suicide than COVID. Grant Shapps, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden are all big players in the pool of responsibility here. They...

    The fact U.K. nationals are still banned from entering the USA is absolutely ridiculous and Biden should be held accountable for it. It’s HIS proclamation stopping people from seeing their loved ones and this is having severe consequences on people’s mental health. The fact is more people in the U.K. are currently dying of suicide than COVID. Grant Shapps, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden are all big players in the pool of responsibility here. They have the big bosses of the aviation industry including the big airports on both sides of the pond, ex heads of the FDA, the president of the US travel association all calling for the ban on the U.K. to be rescinded due to how outdated it is yet they all seem to be burying their heads in the sand about it. If they are playing the whole “We’ll put you on the green list when you remove us from the banned list” they need to grow up! This isn’t about politics this is about people, families and connection, not to mention the crippled economy!! ALL OF THEM have big decisions to answer for!!

  53. ghfatw

    Following the science: Testing and sequencing the positive results (as the UK is doing) is very important. I don’t get why the US is not requiring post-arrival testing and sequencing. But I also don’t get why it has restrictions on the UK and not other countries with far higher risk. The US is more running from the science than following it.

  54. Judith Hagger

    @craig Saunders there are direct flights from London to Dallas, New York and Miami.
    On travel US citizens have never been barred from travelling to the UK.
    My fiancé has been able to fly back & forth since March 2020 (1st lockdown) to Dallas to visit his family there and then return. He abides by the testing and quarantine rules and has not had any issues with travel. Hopeful that soon the US...

    @craig Saunders there are direct flights from London to Dallas, New York and Miami.
    On travel US citizens have never been barred from travelling to the UK.
    My fiancé has been able to fly back & forth since March 2020 (1st lockdown) to Dallas to visit his family there and then return. He abides by the testing and quarantine rules and has not had any issues with travel. Hopeful that soon the US will lift restrictions for the UK if they are actually following the science.

  55. Andy 11235

    Hahahahaha no matter what politicians may tell you, these kind of policies are always pure politics. Here's how it works: a bunch of scientists working at CDC and State work to put together the recommendation. This recommendation goes to a politically-appointed official who takes out a red pen and re-writes everything. The official then releases the policy, justifying it by claiming consultation with the scientists. So, yeah, please complain about this idiocy... because public pressure...

    Hahahahaha no matter what politicians may tell you, these kind of policies are always pure politics. Here's how it works: a bunch of scientists working at CDC and State work to put together the recommendation. This recommendation goes to a politically-appointed official who takes out a red pen and re-writes everything. The official then releases the policy, justifying it by claiming consultation with the scientists. So, yeah, please complain about this idiocy... because public pressure is the only thing that ever changes bad policy.

  56. Emily

    The Global Health Council continues to be vigilant of the UK strain, which remains one of the most contagious mutations of the virus.

    The UK is remains unconvinced of the management of Covid in the US due to the alarmingly low-rate of vaccination in the US. This continues to be a worry amongst many nations. If the US does not find a way to vaccinate a significant portion of its adult population, many more countries...

    The Global Health Council continues to be vigilant of the UK strain, which remains one of the most contagious mutations of the virus.

    The UK is remains unconvinced of the management of Covid in the US due to the alarmingly low-rate of vaccination in the US. This continues to be a worry amongst many nations. If the US does not find a way to vaccinate a significant portion of its adult population, many more countries may impose travel restrictions from the US.

    The current situation is not simple and therefore you and the vast majority are not expected to grasp the nuances surrounding the proliferation of this virus. The threat surrounding the resurgence of a crisis much like the one we faced last year remains high.

  57. Jared

    I agree with you. You are neither an epidemiologist nor a scientist. Let's leave analyses to those who are experts in the field.

  58. Henry

    @emily the UK is creating a mirage but giving people one shot and then waiting 3 months. If you look at %age if population fully vaccinated then then the USA is way ahead.

  59. Emily

    @Brian L.

    No vaccine provides a 100% immunity to the host. Vaccines reduce the probability of an infection. In the case of a fast mutating virus such as Sars-Cov II, vaccines are guaranteed to provide protection against fatality, while the protection against infection and the evolving mutations varies. An infected host can still transmit the virus to others if they come in contact. This is why all incoming travelers should take a test and...

    @Brian L.

    No vaccine provides a 100% immunity to the host. Vaccines reduce the probability of an infection. In the case of a fast mutating virus such as Sars-Cov II, vaccines are guaranteed to provide protection against fatality, while the protection against infection and the evolving mutations varies. An infected host can still transmit the virus to others if they come in contact. This is why all incoming travelers should take a test and exercise caution before reentering the mass population. I don't understand your use of double quotations around science. This is science. Perhaps you are confused between science and magic. Questions like yours are the exactly the problems that public health officials spend so much of their valuable time answering, when there are far more pressing needs.

  60. Henry

    @LisaM thank you. Sadly they can’t/won’t help. So many people in my position. Trump made the L1A rulings that are vague and can be interpreted in different ways.

    Biden has let them lapse but provided no clarifying guidance that the government normally would so optically he is not penalizing people but in reality he is.

    As I say it’s not about vacations it’s about reuniting people and families.

  61. stuart

    So I just recently traveled to the United Kingdom for work and its a "10 day" (in reality day 0 when you arrive and you can travel from airport to your quarantine site [however if need be get groceries or essentials]) and then the two PCR tests one at day 2 or before and the second day 8 or later. However, the hotel that we were staying at even though we had two negative PCR...

    So I just recently traveled to the United Kingdom for work and its a "10 day" (in reality day 0 when you arrive and you can travel from airport to your quarantine site [however if need be get groceries or essentials]) and then the two PCR tests one at day 2 or before and the second day 8 or later. However, the hotel that we were staying at even though we had two negative PCR tests were still told doesn't matter. Have to stay in the room for the full duration of quarantine.

    So yes you can travel but considering up until Monday the country is still pretty much locked down.

  62. Emily

    @Henry - Getting the first dose already imparts a greater than 60% effectiveness after 14 days against the virus. The second dose boosts that up to 80-90%. There is a bottle neck in the sourcing of vaccines so the UK government has decided to provide the first dose to as many as possible. For some of the vaccines, such as the Astra Zeneca/Oxford, a 10-12 week gap between the two doses imparts the highest effectiveness....

    @Henry - Getting the first dose already imparts a greater than 60% effectiveness after 14 days against the virus. The second dose boosts that up to 80-90%. There is a bottle neck in the sourcing of vaccines so the UK government has decided to provide the first dose to as many as possible. For some of the vaccines, such as the Astra Zeneca/Oxford, a 10-12 week gap between the two doses imparts the highest effectiveness. Therefore, waiting for three months is not a bad idea. The priority should be provide the first dose to as many as possible to stem the consequences of infection and to make transmission more difficult.

  63. Emily

    @Henry - the fear between public healthy policy makers in the US is that the rate of vaccination has already peaked. Herd immunity is not possible unless 70-90% of the population is vaccinated. At the current rate, we will peak at around 40% of the adult population (we are not even counting those below 18 years of age). This will be a tragic oversight and is a potential calamity in the making. Unfortunately, the main...

    @Henry - the fear between public healthy policy makers in the US is that the rate of vaccination has already peaked. Herd immunity is not possible unless 70-90% of the population is vaccinated. At the current rate, we will peak at around 40% of the adult population (we are not even counting those below 18 years of age). This will be a tragic oversight and is a potential calamity in the making. Unfortunately, the main epidemic in the US is short sightedness amongst the population. Now that the viral uproar and hysteria is over, the public is no longer interested in the virus nor the vaccine. I say this as a GHC member and a former US citizen.

  64. Peking Duck

    @Emily
    So grateful to have you as a guide, since I "and the vast majority of people are not expected the grasp the nuances surrounding the proliferation of this virus." What would we do without you?

    Btw, to the claim that the UK is concerned about the alarmingly low rate of vaccination in the US. WTF? As Henry pointed out, the US has a greater percentage of people fully vaccinated (35.1% of the population)...

    @Emily
    So grateful to have you as a guide, since I "and the vast majority of people are not expected the grasp the nuances surrounding the proliferation of this virus." What would we do without you?

    Btw, to the claim that the UK is concerned about the alarmingly low rate of vaccination in the US. WTF? As Henry pointed out, the US has a greater percentage of people fully vaccinated (35.1% of the population) than does the UK (27.1%). The US has also administered doses enough to cover 41% of the entire population, compared to 40.2% in the UK. So according to your thinking, maybe the UK should worry about its own alarmingly low rate of vaccination first? Just a thought.

  65. Emily

    @Peking Duck - glad to be of public service. Don't mention it. ;)

    The UK is thinking of itself first. In protecting its self-interests, it sees the US as a threat in the current environment. What's the problem there? If you want to be pedantic, the UK has administered the first dose in excess of 55% of the population. The US lags behind around 40%. Whereas the UK expects to vaccinate the entire population, the...

    @Peking Duck - glad to be of public service. Don't mention it. ;)

    The UK is thinking of itself first. In protecting its self-interests, it sees the US as a threat in the current environment. What's the problem there? If you want to be pedantic, the UK has administered the first dose in excess of 55% of the population. The US lags behind around 40%. Whereas the UK expects to vaccinate the entire population, the US expects to peak at 50% of the total adult population. While true that the US is slightly ahead fully vaccinating the percentage of its population, the balance is approximately 110 million people in the US who refuse to take the vaccine - or roughly 1.5 times the population of the UK. Should that not be a considered threat or should countries allow it to slide just because it is the US?

  66. Henry

    @emily you may be correct on achieving here immunity and the fact that a larger percentage of people in the USA may chose not to take the vaccine.

    But you then also have to look at where these people are geographically and if they are in tourist hotspots. With the exception of Florida the CDC expect all major tourist locations to achieve herd immunity.

    Accept it’s an imperfect solution but I would suggest...

    @emily you may be correct on achieving here immunity and the fact that a larger percentage of people in the USA may chose not to take the vaccine.

    But you then also have to look at where these people are geographically and if they are in tourist hotspots. With the exception of Florida the CDC expect all major tourist locations to achieve herd immunity.

    Accept it’s an imperfect solution but I would suggest if you are anti vaccine you aren’t likely to be international travelers or living in significant numbers in tourist areas.

    Finally why should we continue to close borders for a group of people who are refusing science. Put restrictions on them rather than the many.

  67. Peking Duck

    @Emily
    This is getting better. The US has already vaccinated (with at least one dose) 46% of the *entire* population, roughly 151,000,000 people, the vast majority of whom are over 18 years of age. The adult population in the US is roughly 209,000,000. So to your point that the US is going to peak at 50% of the adult population? 72% have already received at least one dose!

    So yeah, I might be...

    @Emily
    This is getting better. The US has already vaccinated (with at least one dose) 46% of the *entire* population, roughly 151,000,000 people, the vast majority of whom are over 18 years of age. The adult population in the US is roughly 209,000,000. So to your point that the US is going to peak at 50% of the adult population? 72% have already received at least one dose!

    So yeah, I might be going out on a limb, but I'm thinking we're probably gonna top out at over 50% of the adult pop.

  68. Sam G

    @stuart you needed a further test called "test to release" at day 5 - once you have received this negative result you are free to leave your isolation (for speed if you are nearby an appropriate venue you are also free to leave to go get this test). You still send back the test at day 8 but no action required unless that came back positive somehow

    The UK isn't "locked down" still - we've...

    @stuart you needed a further test called "test to release" at day 5 - once you have received this negative result you are free to leave your isolation (for speed if you are nearby an appropriate venue you are also free to leave to go get this test). You still send back the test at day 8 but no action required unless that came back positive somehow

    The UK isn't "locked down" still - we've got a decent amount open already outdoors & movement has been unrestricted since April, further easing is happening on Monday including hotels (for leisure instead of just essential reasons), indoor dining, tourist spots etc

  69. Rin

    An example of how political all these bans are: Hong Kong is not on the UK's green list. This is despite there being a TOTAL of 210 COVID-related deaths in HK since the pandemic began, and the last few weeks the cases being either at 0 or in single digits (with most cases being imported and in hotel quarantine).

    HK - per capita - is one of the safest places to be traveling from...

    An example of how political all these bans are: Hong Kong is not on the UK's green list. This is despite there being a TOTAL of 210 COVID-related deaths in HK since the pandemic began, and the last few weeks the cases being either at 0 or in single digits (with most cases being imported and in hotel quarantine).

    HK - per capita - is one of the safest places to be traveling from in the world, yet the UK lists countries on their 'green list' with far worse records both for deaths and cases in the past few weeks and overall.

    I'm sure it is nothing to do with the current BNO situation...just following the science...

  70. Kent

    @Peking Duck

    May want to double check your figures. Only 58.5% of the adult population in the US has received one or more doses. The total pct stands at 46.2% and there is a legitimate scare that the US will peak around 50-60% of the population, which is not enough. Frankly, any and all Americans traveling outside the US should be required to present a negative Covid test report until the US can guarantee 90+%...

    @Peking Duck

    May want to double check your figures. Only 58.5% of the adult population in the US has received one or more doses. The total pct stands at 46.2% and there is a legitimate scare that the US will peak around 50-60% of the population, which is not enough. Frankly, any and all Americans traveling outside the US should be required to present a negative Covid test report until the US can guarantee 90+% vaccinated. Community transmission fears exist.

    https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

  71. Fae

    Someone mentioned earlier (ole?) 'why the desperation for International travel?'.
    Well, for those of us with our loved ones in opposite UK/USA countries, it is becoming extremely stressful.
    Not all of us can afford/manage time off for a 15 day isolation in Mexico, Croatia, Turkey or alike, to be able to entre the US.
    To be honest, I struggle to understand how Mexico is safer than the UK. Our covid cases are...

    Someone mentioned earlier (ole?) 'why the desperation for International travel?'.
    Well, for those of us with our loved ones in opposite UK/USA countries, it is becoming extremely stressful.
    Not all of us can afford/manage time off for a 15 day isolation in Mexico, Croatia, Turkey or alike, to be able to entre the US.
    To be honest, I struggle to understand how Mexico is safer than the UK. Our covid cases are WAY LOWER, our vaccinated adult population WAY HIGHER. I want the US to explain its reasoning. Don't play the increased terriosm risk card. Totally irrelevant & unfounded.

    I now believe, that the UK/USA government's are in cahoots. They want to stop travel (unless of course you can afford to enter on your private jet, are a government official, a sports celebrity or are buying property) then, my lucky friends, its all good!

    I also do think travel should be restricted between countries. But we're not asking for a free pass to go to Disneyland, we're asking fir the right to be with our loved ones. Thats it.
    So Ole, lucky enough to be seeing Doris down the road, good for you. We're not all the same.

    We want to have DEFERIANTIATION between us please from the TOURIST seeking holiday thrills. Its NOT THE SAME! Let us in, keep them away if its easier.

    Lets face it, NONE of us, after over 12 months apart, will want to LEAVE THE HOUSE anyway. Most, want to just be together!

    This utterly NON scientific ban, is effecting THOUSANDS of couples' mental health! In my cases whole relationships, even after years' together. It needs to end. Its not acceptable. People are seperated for a plethoria of reasons. Work, children, visas, parents, studies, commitments...of all types. Please do not judge us for loving someone who lives far away!

    #loveisnottourism
    #weneedanswers
    #weneedlove
    #openloveborders

  72. Henry

    @Rin I agree with you but HKG is hardly following the science by making returnees quarantine in a hotel for 21 days at their expense. All science points to 14 days. And their in humane policies of family separation is one person tests positive is beyond barbaric.

    So no its not about science HKG / UK is definitely about politics.

  73. MJ

    Thank you for a very timely article Ben. The current US ban on UK residents is utterly nonsensical. The UK has far lower rates and cases and % wise more people are vaccinated. All variants in the UK have already been widespread and identified in the US. There is more pre -travel testing and virtually everyone traveling can be vaccinated unlike when these bans went in to place in March 2020.

    The Biden administration is...

    Thank you for a very timely article Ben. The current US ban on UK residents is utterly nonsensical. The UK has far lower rates and cases and % wise more people are vaccinated. All variants in the UK have already been widespread and identified in the US. There is more pre -travel testing and virtually everyone traveling can be vaccinated unlike when these bans went in to place in March 2020.

    The Biden administration is definitely sleeping on this one. Every day is starving the airlines and tourism industries on both sides in addition to tearing families apart. Someone should ask Jen Psaki and may be she can circle back with us. Waiting for the theater of the G7 summit is idiotic. The science train on this has long since left the station as well.

  74. Rin

    @Henry

    I definitely agree about the close-case criminalisation in HK - spending 14 days or longer in isolation is inhumane, especially when it makes no difference if you have tested negative or been fully vaccinated.

    However, in terms of the science on 14 day quarantines - I wish so much it was true that the incubation period maxed out at a fortnight. Unfortunately, many papers show that there is a small chance that the...

    @Henry

    I definitely agree about the close-case criminalisation in HK - spending 14 days or longer in isolation is inhumane, especially when it makes no difference if you have tested negative or been fully vaccinated.

    However, in terms of the science on 14 day quarantines - I wish so much it was true that the incubation period maxed out at a fortnight. Unfortunately, many papers show that there is a small chance that the incubation can be >14 days - with estimates ranging from 1% to even 10% of cases taking longer than 14 days before testing positive. One case was shown to be 24 days. There is a small chance that transmission could have occurred in the interim in that case, I believe, but not with others. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/33/eabc1202

    Then the HK government (who have a genuine world-class track and trace system and highly specialist infectious disease department) have also tested quarantiners on day 19 and that is the first time they have tested positive. This has been the case in more than one hotel, and it is highly unlikely that transmission occurred within the hotels in all those cases (though it may have done in some). Finally, factor in mutant strains - HK seems terrified of these, especially if they may be more transmissible and potentially have longer incubation periods.

    As I say, I completely agree about the inhumane treatment of HKers and the need for hotel quarantine - it should be allowed to happen at home, and people who are fully vaccinated (and therefore less likely to catch/transmit the virus) should not be subject to such long quarantines if they test negative. But in terms of limiting deaths from COVID, HK is definitely following the science, and the UK has not. Of course, the consequences for the HK economy and people's livelihoods from their choices is another thing altogether.

  75. Alex

    I’m British and live in the US. I moved right before the pandemic and I’ve not been able to come home as I wouldn’t be allowed back in the US.

    I can provide some more clarity on this topic than most as I’ve spent everyday looking for any glimmer of hope to be reunited with my boyfriend and family.

    The US were rescinding the travel ban back in November, but due to the horrific response...

    I’m British and live in the US. I moved right before the pandemic and I’ve not been able to come home as I wouldn’t be allowed back in the US.

    I can provide some more clarity on this topic than most as I’ve spent everyday looking for any glimmer of hope to be reunited with my boyfriend and family.

    The US were rescinding the travel ban back in November, but due to the horrific response the U.K. has had to COVID-19 with the lack of enforcing masks, the U.K. had an god awful time around December. So Biden then kept Trumps presidential proclamation in place.

    Now, with the U.K. the vaccination effort is good, it’s still not at herd immunity. Which is considered 60-90% of the population.

    I’m 31 and fully vaccinated, where as my boyfriend in the U.K. hasn’t yet even been given an invite to have his first vaccine and he’s 38.

    Whilst the U.K. is better at most with the vaccine, it’s actually really slow as it’s still being provided at doctors where here you can get it at your local Walgreens and you have to have your second shot 3 weeks later.

    I think the border will open up in July.
    If I hear one more news article about tourism and the tourist industries on this topic I will scream because NOBODY is talking about reuniting binational families.

    Look up #loveisnottourism on Twitter and you’ll see the heartbreak we’ve all been suffering from for the past 16 months

  76. Angela

    The simple fact is if we were following the science vaccinated people wouldn't be banned or forced to quarantine at all. Yes, there is a small risk but we are going to live with a small risk for a long time (if not forever). They are all scared of the people who refuse to get vaccinated whining about being treated different. Plain and simple. It is stupid to keep those of us who pose little threat locked down.

  77. Henry

    @alex well put and i am in the same position. The UK has created a mirage with first doses. My mum who is 70 (yep missed that birthday) has only had one dose, where as I have been fully vaccinated.

    It’s like the UK are declaring victory at half time, and are glossing over a death rate per 1000 people that is 2.5 times higher than the US, yet the US is the problem!

    And...

    @alex well put and i am in the same position. The UK has created a mirage with first doses. My mum who is 70 (yep missed that birthday) has only had one dose, where as I have been fully vaccinated.

    It’s like the UK are declaring victory at half time, and are glossing over a death rate per 1000 people that is 2.5 times higher than the US, yet the US is the problem!

    And to @miamiorbust your comments on the US spring break etc are naive. Look at what happened in the UK last summer as soon as the sun came out, after eat out to help out, the lack of speed in locking down and the fact you have 4 nations in the UK who cant even agree on standard procedure.

    This is not and I repeat not, about vacations. This is about reuniting families.

  78. SteveFromAus

    @MMcG
    Its all ok, Tony Abbot has flown back and forth as it suited him in the last year while working as a (bad) advisor to the (bad) Boris Johnson government. Tennis players also came and went, alongside lots of fruit pickers who didn't have to pay the $3000 hotel fine for quarantine. I am stuck in the UK with ageing and sick family in Australia and cannot get back there this side of...

    @MMcG
    Its all ok, Tony Abbot has flown back and forth as it suited him in the last year while working as a (bad) advisor to the (bad) Boris Johnson government. Tennis players also came and went, alongside lots of fruit pickers who didn't have to pay the $3000 hotel fine for quarantine. I am stuck in the UK with ageing and sick family in Australia and cannot get back there this side of £10,000 thanks to them only letting first and business passengers fly in and in such small quotas that the waiting list is 6 months or more.

  79. Rob

    Jordan - 40k per day in a country the size of the US is really not all that high or crazy. The EU, roughly the same size, is 80k/day and was as high as 160k/day just a month ago (70k in the US a month ago) as a comparison. Drives me nuts when news articles and people don't use a per capita comparison.

    That said, I think both UK and US should fully open up...

    Jordan - 40k per day in a country the size of the US is really not all that high or crazy. The EU, roughly the same size, is 80k/day and was as high as 160k/day just a month ago (70k in the US a month ago) as a comparison. Drives me nuts when news articles and people don't use a per capita comparison.

    That said, I think both UK and US should fully open up with each other and simply require a covid test right before or on arrival. Quarantine at this point is silly as both countries have high levels of vaccination rates, lower than average per capita rates, and a downward trend across the board.

    Positivity rates are a fairly meaningless stat as different countries/areas/etc require or do not require covid tests for various things. The more you require people to get covid tests, the lower the positivity rate (healthy people getting tested) and the less you require people to get covid tested, the higher the positive rate (only sick go get tested). Cases per capita is a far better metric.

  80. Icarus

    @henry not a competition and they may be giving free vaccines in the US anD simply glossing to the fact there’s no universal healthcare. If you’re sick or have a baby , it costs tens of 1000s of dollars. Michael Flor of Seattle was billed $1.1 million. Americans are expected to pay for all treatment The US has a Kafkaesque and immoral medical. At least I can ask “ what’s a medical bill “?
    ...

    @henry not a competition and they may be giving free vaccines in the US anD simply glossing to the fact there’s no universal healthcare. If you’re sick or have a baby , it costs tens of 1000s of dollars. Michael Flor of Seattle was billed $1.1 million. Americans are expected to pay for all treatment The US has a Kafkaesque and immoral medical. At least I can ask “ what’s a medical bill “?
    Moreover there’s more to the world than the US. Sometimes I read this sire and get the impression some readers aren’t aware other countries exist.

  81. Henry

    @icraus read my posts. I’m not painting it as a competition and I’m not commenting on universal healthcare.

    I sometimes think people come to this site to find offense where none is evident.

    And by the way I have travelled to 49+ countries and lived on every continent so more aware than most of life outside of the USA.

  82. B

    @Ole

    For those vaccinated, travel is within reach. CDC guidelines already permit vaccinated people to meet indoors without masks. In other words, it is safe for that population (data still out on whether it's completely safe) to go about their usual activities. Although hasn't happened yet, there is potential for entire vessels/planes/venues filled with only vaccinated folks.

    Those waiting for complete eradication of Corona or herd immunity to resume normal activities will probably be...

    @Ole

    For those vaccinated, travel is within reach. CDC guidelines already permit vaccinated people to meet indoors without masks. In other words, it is safe for that population (data still out on whether it's completely safe) to go about their usual activities. Although hasn't happened yet, there is potential for entire vessels/planes/venues filled with only vaccinated folks.

    Those waiting for complete eradication of Corona or herd immunity to resume normal activities will probably be waiting until the end of time. Have fun with that.

    Corona will ALWAYS be around. It's not going anywhere. At some point the population will want to move forward with life and accept the risk of doing so. There is nothing wrong with that. At some point, those that choose not to be vaccinated will simply have to deal with the consequences/risks of not doing so. The minority that don't want to be vaccinated don't get to hold the rest of us hostage (not that they are asking for that). Nothing in life comes with zero risk and the pandemic is no different.

  83. Rob

    Icarus - 90%+ of US citizens have healthcare where costs are very reasonable or free and half the 10% that don't have healthcare are young folks who just opt out with cost/benefit. The media, especially overseas, grossly distorts the bad side of US healthcare. On the flip side, over 95% of all medical discoveries come from the US and nearly 100% of pharma profit, ie the US is effectively subsidizing advance of the entire world....

    Icarus - 90%+ of US citizens have healthcare where costs are very reasonable or free and half the 10% that don't have healthcare are young folks who just opt out with cost/benefit. The media, especially overseas, grossly distorts the bad side of US healthcare. On the flip side, over 95% of all medical discoveries come from the US and nearly 100% of pharma profit, ie the US is effectively subsidizing advance of the entire world. Lastly, you can always show up at the hospital for coverage and not pay anything (hospitals are required to take in those that need regardless). I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement, and there are some people who do get the shaft, but it largely works really well for the vast majority of the country. In a country of 330 million people, you can find anecdotes of ANYTHING not working well. I can find thousands of examples in Europe and Canada of people dying because they had a long wait for treatment - I don't think that is normal though and a $1.1m bill here isn't either.

    And both the Trump and Biden admin did all US citizens well during Covid, including free coverage, testing and vaccines (well not free for taxpayer of course).

  84. Milo

    I can't help but laugh every time someone said "follow the science", as if it is some kind of magical spell.

    It is a catch phrase invented by Democrats to feel morally superior, but between the lines it is as empty as the vacuum of space.

    Nothing about lockdown / re-opening, whether it is the economy or the border, has anything to do with science.

    Science is nothing but educated guesses based on known facts,...

    I can't help but laugh every time someone said "follow the science", as if it is some kind of magical spell.

    It is a catch phrase invented by Democrats to feel morally superior, but between the lines it is as empty as the vacuum of space.

    Nothing about lockdown / re-opening, whether it is the economy or the border, has anything to do with science.

    Science is nothing but educated guesses based on known facts, and there are a lot of unknowns in a rapidly evolving pandemic with a constantly mutating viral strain. Science has told us, until June 2020 at least, masks didn't help unless you are symptomatic (go look it up if you can't remember; we hadn't rewritten history, at least not yet). Science has no idea what safe social distance is; it is 2 meters in the UK, 6 feet in the US, and 1.5 meters in Hong Kong. Science shouldn't be that adaptive; if 1.5m is safe in HK, it should be safe in the UK, or the US.

    Yet so many treat science as religion.

    The only scientific way to 100% stop the spread of the virus is complete, indefinite quarantine of everyone until anyone who carries the virus, whether asymptomatic or not, is dead. Anything else is a delicate balance between what is acceptable risk in terms of infection and mortality rate and acceptable cost in terms of reduced socioeconomic activities. This balance is exactly what politics is about.

    "Follow the science"? LOL

  85. Milo

    @Rob BRAVO!

    A lot of the perceptions / misperceptions about the US healthcare system are results of years of Democratic talking points spread by mainstream media acting as propaganda machines.

    To say a lot of people in the US don't have access to "healthcare" is an outright lie. They may not have "health insurance", but not having "health insurance" and not having access to "healthcare" are 2 completely different concepts. Like you said, healthcare providers...

    @Rob BRAVO!

    A lot of the perceptions / misperceptions about the US healthcare system are results of years of Democratic talking points spread by mainstream media acting as propaganda machines.

    To say a lot of people in the US don't have access to "healthcare" is an outright lie. They may not have "health insurance", but not having "health insurance" and not having access to "healthcare" are 2 completely different concepts. Like you said, healthcare providers are required to provide emergency care regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Also, it's not like we don't have Medicaid for low income people.

  86. Kent

    Science is based on empirical evidence. Science is not magic yet a vast portion of the population thinks it to be. If only religion were more like science then perhaps the society would be in a better shape.

    Also, everyone has access to healthcare in the U.S. The issue is that the costs do not correlate with the quality of care. It is not an equitable system and certainly not a model. As soon as...

    Science is based on empirical evidence. Science is not magic yet a vast portion of the population thinks it to be. If only religion were more like science then perhaps the society would be in a better shape.

    Also, everyone has access to healthcare in the U.S. The issue is that the costs do not correlate with the quality of care. It is not an equitable system and certainly not a model. As soon as a person’s income or employment and access to healthcare become tied, there is a conflict. Insurance is available. However, many fall into the bracket where insurance is not feasible but they don’t qualify for medicaid. Unfortunately, the challenges are real and the situation not black and white.

    I’m not even sure of the premise of this blog post. The author is not qualified to make these decisions, but does so in a very conclusive manner.

  87. Jared

    @Kent - the page hits keep rising. Controversy brings readers.

  88. Rob

    Kent - science is only partially about empirical evidence. The 6 step scientific method has been the gold standard for science for centuries but over the last two decades is used less and less in the name of advancing some political cause. Virtually nothing coming out from anyone or organization on covid is even remotely close to based on science.

    And again, 90%+ of folks in the US have affordable healthcare and over half...

    Kent - science is only partially about empirical evidence. The 6 step scientific method has been the gold standard for science for centuries but over the last two decades is used less and less in the name of advancing some political cause. Virtually nothing coming out from anyone or organization on covid is even remotely close to based on science.

    And again, 90%+ of folks in the US have affordable healthcare and over half those that don't are personally choosing not to because of their age and risk profile. Additionally, how do you balance the costs in the US versus longer wait times and higher taxes in "free countries? How do you balance medical advancement (ie profit) vs providing known medical items to people today? How do you encourage people to be healthier (paying for their own healthcare) than not being healthier (government paying for their healthcare)? Opponents of the US system act like the issue is cut and dry, but its simply not, and the US' system has continued to enhance medical care all over the world doing good well beyond the US' borders as we subsidize the cost of virtually all new advancement.

  89. kenidfw

    The horror stories out of the UK regarding the quarantine period are frightening. The Guardian's recent piece sealed the deal for us to not travel for a wedding this July in the UK. We're both vaccinated and I'm NOT paying for 10-14 nights hotel at my expense in the greater London area ($350+/night) to then be held hostage. Don't go unless you absolutely have to. If I were AA or any other US carrier I...

    The horror stories out of the UK regarding the quarantine period are frightening. The Guardian's recent piece sealed the deal for us to not travel for a wedding this July in the UK. We're both vaccinated and I'm NOT paying for 10-14 nights hotel at my expense in the greater London area ($350+/night) to then be held hostage. Don't go unless you absolutely have to. If I were AA or any other US carrier I would redirect flights away from LHR or GTW to other European countries altogether until this mess is settled. Between Brexit and now this situation the UK is going to find itself further behind. The superiority they exude is quickly crumbling away.

  90. Kent

    @Rob

    Interesting points and I’ll address a few.

    Unfortunately, the system is developed such that the people who need care remain in a never ending loop. If you are from the marginalised portion of the population, you simply cannot afford insurance, medical care nor can you afford many of the luxuries the rest of us have towards fitness - chief amongst them is time.

    Most indicators show that a vast portion of our population are...

    @Rob

    Interesting points and I’ll address a few.

    Unfortunately, the system is developed such that the people who need care remain in a never ending loop. If you are from the marginalised portion of the population, you simply cannot afford insurance, medical care nor can you afford many of the luxuries the rest of us have towards fitness - chief amongst them is time.

    Most indicators show that a vast portion of our population are obese, have one or two life style related diseases, and spend more on healthcare with less than acceptable impact to their lifestyle. So what is all that money buying?

    In addition, this endless loop of medication as the instant cure to our problems has borne out of our system which is driven by corporations making profits in healthcare.

    You speak of wait times - yes patients in some countries have long wait times but it’s not like we receive instant access for what we pay. Try getting an appointment with a new doctor and you may be in for a month to three month wait.

    The best majority are not paying directly out of pocket for insurance. Employers pay for the most part so the incentive that we become healthy to reduce our financial burden is out of the window.

    Medical advances are happening throughout the world - Japan, Israel, EU, etc. All of these regions spend less per capita on healthcare with better outcomes than the U.S.

    So yes - I conclude that our system is desperately flawed and controlled by the corporations. We have become desperately entrenched in the system with the boundaries between government and corporations dissolving. It is not a model and thankfully most of the world realises that.

  91. Andrew Spencer

    Its totally ridiculous and has hurt so many businesses. I agree 100% that there is NO reason UK is on banned list. We should OPEN UP now, and UK should put us on the Green list. Waiting for June summit is TOO long for suffering airline , travel industry and many businesses in both countries.

  92. Emily

    I see no evidence to support that paying for healthcare insurance leads to better health outcomes. The fact is that the US has the highest proportion of population suffering from obesity, diabetes and hypertension - all preventable with a healthcare system that encourages publicly funded preventative health initiatives. Having lived in countries with exceptional healthcare systems such as Germany, Japan and Israel, it pains me to admit that our system is broken. The entire system...

    I see no evidence to support that paying for healthcare insurance leads to better health outcomes. The fact is that the US has the highest proportion of population suffering from obesity, diabetes and hypertension - all preventable with a healthcare system that encourages publicly funded preventative health initiatives. Having lived in countries with exceptional healthcare systems such as Germany, Japan and Israel, it pains me to admit that our system is broken. The entire system is rigged in favor of the corporation which involves development of unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits leading to chronic diseases followed by over medication and so on and so forth the cycle continues. My studies suggest that the average person in the US is actually paying significantly more on healthcare than they would if a public system on preventative healthcare initiatives existed so that the population need not depend on the high expenditure treatments. I certainly have not seen as many unhealthy people in other developed countries as I have in the US, despite the per capita health expenditure in the US being much higher. In addition, for those against a public healthcare system, what's the problem with a dual program as exists in many other countries? Feel free to choose which you intend to pay for based on your own initiative. We have made a farce of the healthcare system.

  93. Steve

    When talking about healthcare US v UK, I have 'experience' of both. That experience is not enough to become empirical truth, but it does sway my opinion. My opinion should not be prioritised over empirical research. In this conversation, we should all be careful to stick to auditable, and challengable, data. Citing the opinion of 100 people does not make something true.

    An interesting aritcle, challenging how and what we perceive as 'truth' is to...

    When talking about healthcare US v UK, I have 'experience' of both. That experience is not enough to become empirical truth, but it does sway my opinion. My opinion should not be prioritised over empirical research. In this conversation, we should all be careful to stick to auditable, and challengable, data. Citing the opinion of 100 people does not make something true.

    An interesting aritcle, challenging how and what we perceive as 'truth' is to be found here:

    https://theconversation.com/how-do-you-know-that-what-you-know-is-true-thats-epistemology-63884

    A lot of opinion on here, but little 'evidence' to back that opinion up.

  94. Rosy

    I'm a Brit in the US on a nonimmigrant visa and have been for almost 2 years. I have a job and a house and a life here. I am fully vaccinated. Yet I can't go home to see family because I will be refused entry on my return to the US. Maybe I can spend 14+ days in Mexico at great expense and some COVID risk to get around the rules, but that feels...

    I'm a Brit in the US on a nonimmigrant visa and have been for almost 2 years. I have a job and a house and a life here. I am fully vaccinated. Yet I can't go home to see family because I will be refused entry on my return to the US. Maybe I can spend 14+ days in Mexico at great expense and some COVID risk to get around the rules, but that feels so dishonest and risky. I feel great sympathy for others who have commented here in a similar situation. I worry that we are too much of an edge case to be a priority for the US government. It's very frustrating, and I hate being lumped in with tourists just wanting to come here for a holiday.
    Thank you for the article - it feels reassuring that many others are aware and talking about how unfair the rules are.

  95. Roger Rantz

    The US doesn't want Raw entertainment flying in to film the lost dutchman goldmine. That's why the travel ban is in place. The government suppressed me for years before Raw entertainment offered me a chance, then the US threw the Travel ban on the UK and won't let the film crew in.

  96. Stephie

    Actually it’s well know that we are reopening for the UK, Europe and part of the world this summer (till next year Only vaccinated and people who had Covid 19 )

  97. Stephie

    @Emily Ur dead wrong . 1. Herd immunity is not necessary for returning back to normal.
    2. almost 50% our population is vaccinated and 60% of our adult population. Around 70- 80% of the adults want the vaccine . Also teens want the vaccine too

  98. Joe1293

    I wonder if they will extend it?

  99. Sara

    Thanks for the article!
    Would this mean that if I fly from Portugal, spend 14 or 15 days in Mexico for example, then I could go the the US? Provided I had a negative Covid test?

  100. CSSDALE

    For those US citizens who have girl friends or fiances in UK, they can always sponsor for K visa (fiancé visa) which is allowed from UK to US.

    I do agree though, they should allow US citizens into UK with proof of vaccination and negative test, but no additional quarantine, and similarly US should lift the ban on UK residents, this has gone too long.

  101. Steve

    @CSSDALE

    My GF and I did see that option. But government policy is no reason to get married. It should be for love not regulations.

    Even though the policies of both governments seem to be outdated and not in keeping with current scientific advice, we have to wait it out.

  102. Teresa Wojcik

    This is a nightmare for Americans that have Family in the UK! I have been double vaccinated for two months and my Family in the UK are all double vaxed at this point! If they are Tearing Families apart because of Politics then that is a SHAME! I think it is probably both Political and Maybe Some Science behind the decision for the Travel Ban! We have been waiting for the May 17th decision and...

    This is a nightmare for Americans that have Family in the UK! I have been double vaccinated for two months and my Family in the UK are all double vaxed at this point! If they are Tearing Families apart because of Politics then that is a SHAME! I think it is probably both Political and Maybe Some Science behind the decision for the Travel Ban! We have been waiting for the May 17th decision and thought surely the ban would be lifted on the US side! What a disappointing mess. We have been good soldiers and wore our masks and got our vaccinations and still nothing!

  103. Shae

    This whole article is what I have been telling people for what feels like ages now. I haven't seen my boyfriend in over a year. I just miss him so much. He was supposed to visit last year so we could finally decide where we wanted to live long term (UK or US), he could meet (in person) my family, and we could finall file for a visa either way. Last year I, like so...

    This whole article is what I have been telling people for what feels like ages now. I haven't seen my boyfriend in over a year. I just miss him so much. He was supposed to visit last year so we could finally decide where we wanted to live long term (UK or US), he could meet (in person) my family, and we could finall file for a visa either way. Last year I, like so many people lost multiple close family members, my job, and my cat died. I had to go through that all alone with the minimal support (not for a lack of trying on his end) that he can supply being over 4k miles away. I understand that this will eventually end, but it's hard to keep positive about this when you just feel so utterly alone... I just want him here so badly, even just a few days.. just something..

    Anyway, thank you for the article more sources need to talk about this so something is done about it..
    #loveisnottourism

  104. Emily

    @Stephie - I am not sure you understand what herd immunity is. Herd immunity is attained in two ways; either a huge portion of the population becomes infected and develops immunity or a large portion of the population receives a vaccines and develops immunity. In both cases, the transmission of the virus is interrupted. Herd immunity is in fact the only way that we can return to normalcy - whether through infection or vaccination. The...

    @Stephie - I am not sure you understand what herd immunity is. Herd immunity is attained in two ways; either a huge portion of the population becomes infected and develops immunity or a large portion of the population receives a vaccines and develops immunity. In both cases, the transmission of the virus is interrupted. Herd immunity is in fact the only way that we can return to normalcy - whether through infection or vaccination. The figure at 50% of the population has been wavering for over two weeks now and simply isn't sufficient for herd immunity to take effect.

  105. Erika

    I am beyond sick of COVID opinions and the political control behind all of these travel restrictions - that have affected so many of our personal and business lives! It is very simple people: You stay home as you are fearful that your not safe to go out into the world; or you get on an airplane and go about your life. I am an adult and I know what suits me best. You are...

    I am beyond sick of COVID opinions and the political control behind all of these travel restrictions - that have affected so many of our personal and business lives! It is very simple people: You stay home as you are fearful that your not safe to go out into the world; or you get on an airplane and go about your life. I am an adult and I know what suits me best. You are also an adult and you should do what is best for your life. No one is forcing you to get into an aircraft. Why do you care if I do? I’ll take my chances.

  106. Scorcy

    The whole Schengen travel ban doesn't make any sense anyway. Right now, there's countries like Colombia that are doing much worse but they aren't on the list. Yet a country like the UK is.

    The travel ban was instated by the Trump Administration when it seemed like the Schengen area contained the largest number of infections in the beginning of wave number 1. But that is no longer the case since the third wave quieted...

    The whole Schengen travel ban doesn't make any sense anyway. Right now, there's countries like Colombia that are doing much worse but they aren't on the list. Yet a country like the UK is.

    The travel ban was instated by the Trump Administration when it seemed like the Schengen area contained the largest number of infections in the beginning of wave number 1. But that is no longer the case since the third wave quieted down. Some other countries like Colombia have much higher infection rates now, but no bans there.

    The fact that US citizens are not affected by the ban, but internationals are, doesn't make any sense either. People with dual citizenship can travel as if nothing ever happened and I know some who do. In the meantime Europe decided to open up for Americans for the summer, but no word from the US yet. Right now numbers are so low that slightly loosening restrictions shouldn't be a big problem.

    I do expect that there will be announcements soon. The longer this takes, the larger the emotional toll will be for people who haven't seen each other for a very long time. There's lots of non-tourist reasons to visit the country for me, but I can't, except when fly to Costa Rica, or some Caribbean island to make sure I haven't been in Schengen for 14 days. Of course in some cases the risk of carrying covid into the US increases by this because the ban is currently outdated.

  107. Steve

    @Scorcy

    Totally agree with you.

    The stated reason for the ban was to prevent introduction of covid into the US. It was made before testing and vaccines were a thing. Now that they both exists, there is no scientific reason why vaccinated travellers who test negative shouldn’t be allowed to travel. Especially since unvaccinated US citizens are. No announcement is being made because the position is indefencable.

  108. Johnathan Lande

    Could not agree with you more other than Israel the UK vaccination programme has been a world leader with 50% of the UK adults having been vaccinated (one shot). With the mandatory negative PCR test and proof of two shots of the vaccine why can’t you enter the US?? Seems completely bonkers not to allow inbound travel. There are rumours a travel corridor is to be anointed before Biden arrives in the Cornwall, UK for...

    Could not agree with you more other than Israel the UK vaccination programme has been a world leader with 50% of the UK adults having been vaccinated (one shot). With the mandatory negative PCR test and proof of two shots of the vaccine why can’t you enter the US?? Seems completely bonkers not to allow inbound travel. There are rumours a travel corridor is to be anointed before Biden arrives in the Cornwall, UK for the G7 meet! It couldn’t come soon enough for us folk desperate to see our loved ones!!

Featured Comments Load all 114 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Katie

Well this isn't a fair assumption. I don't trust joe and I loathe trump more than just about anyone ever

Katie

Well, I'm in the US, fully vaccinated. My fiance is in the UK, fully vaccinated. Our wedding for April 3rd 2020 was obviously cancelled. It made sense then. It no longer makes sense that he cannot travel here so we can finally get married over a year after our original wedding date. We haven't seen each other in person since December 5, 2019. His spousal visa approval will likely take about two years time, of which he still has to live in the UK and me here, so more time separated , and we're not young and we would simply like to spend the years we have left together.

Johnathan Lande

Could not agree with you more other than Israel the UK vaccination programme has been a world leader with 50% of the UK adults having been vaccinated (one shot). With the mandatory negative PCR test and proof of two shots of the vaccine why can’t you enter the US?? Seems completely bonkers not to allow inbound travel. There are rumours a travel corridor is to be anointed before Biden arrives in the Cornwall, UK for the G7 meet! It couldn’t come soon enough for us folk desperate to see our loved ones!!

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT