Info for U.S. citizens going to England (from any ‘amber’ country)

Not all American citizens go directly from the US to England… we’re going there after a few weeks in France and Italy. If you were vaccinated in the US and are going to London anytime soon (from home or abroad) take note of this current info from the UK government. It includes any necessary links. We hope it’s helpful. This will all be behind us soon!

UK info for arriving travelers:

Before you travel to England you must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test (“pre-departure test.”) You must do this even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. You could be fined £500 if you arrive in England without proof of a negative COVID-19 “pre-departure test.” 

Rules if you’re fully vaccinated:

If you’re coming to England from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 pre-departure test AS WELL AS a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England. Your arrival day is counted as day “0.” You do not have to quarantine.

Proving you’ve been fully vaccinated: You’ll need to show your travel operator and border control proof you’ve been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine. You’ll also need to confirm that you’ve been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form. US Citizens must show their CDC card proving the full course of an FDA-approved vaccination along with proof of residency, such as a US passport. 

Booking your Day 2 test: You must book and pay for a day 2 test before you travel. Make sure you leave enough time for it to be delivered to your address in England. (You could be fined if you do not take the required test.)  It does not matter how long you’re visiting England, you must still book and pay for the Day 2 test.  You must then put the booking reference number into your passenger locator form.

If your Day 2 test is positive, you must quarantine. Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days.  You must travel directly to the place you’re staying. And not leave until 10 more days have passed. If you’re traveling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay. In this event, you must still book your day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if you will no longer be in England on the dates of the tests!

[Test to Release clause: You can end your quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme – you’ll find details below in the ‘Ending quarantine’ section.]

     -You must quarantine at the address you provided on the passenger locator form. This can include a hotel or other temporary accommodation. Amber list arrivals (like Italy, France, & US) cannot quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel – these are for red list arrivals only. You must quarantine in one place for the full quarantine period, where you can have food and other necessities delivered.

    -Unless you’re at risk of harm, you cannot leave the premises where you’re in quarantine. You must not go shopping. If you need help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Getting or posting your UK tests: You can leave to go and take your Day 2 and Day 8 tests.  (or to post them for delivery in a Royal Priority street mailbox. (This is for self-administered tests that you may have purchased here or brought with you.)

What to do if you get COVID-19 symptoms: You should order a test if you develop at least one of these 3 COVID-19 symptoms: high temperature, continuous cough, loss of smell or taste.  (The people you’re staying with do not need to quarantine, unless they traveled with you.

Ending quarantine: If you’ve quarantined for 10 full days and received a negative result to both your day 2 and day 8 tests, you may leave the place where you’re quarantining.

Make sure you’re following quarantine rules: While you quarantine, NHS Test and Trace will contact you daily to confirm you’re following quarantine rules. You may also be visited by staff carrying out in-person checks on behalf of Test and Trace to make sure you’re complying with your legal duty to quarantine. Read more about the checks carried out to make sure you’re following quarantine rules. If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

Changing the place where you’re quarantining: You are not allowed to change the place where you’re quarantining except in very limited circumstances, including where it’s necessary and permissible for you to stay overnight at accommodation before traveling to the place where you will be quarantining for the remaining period. If this happens, you must provide full details of each address where you will quarantine on the passenger locator form. If, in exceptional circumstances, you cannot remain where you’re staying, you can move to a new place to quarantine and you must complete a new passenger locator form as soon as possible.

Ending quarantine early using ‘Test to Release’ Under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day 5. If the result is negative (and the result of your day 2 test was negative or inconclusive), you can end your quarantine!  You must still book and take your mandatory day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if your ‘Test to Release’ result is negative. (The Day 8 testing can be skipped if you have left the UK.) Find out more about “Test to Release”  ßincluding providers offering this special test.

Quarantining can be difficult… NHS Volunteer Responders are available if you need help with shopping or medication, or if you’d just like a friendly chat.  Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange support. You can arrange one-off support, or schedule more regular help while you’re quarantining.

Circumstances not covered by this guidance: If you’re intending to travel to the UK in the next week and are facing a set of circumstances that are not covered by this guidance, email your enquiry to:

dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net.  (Be sure to include your date of travel.)

Proof of Vaccine Required in SF Beginning August 20th

Immunity from having the disease does not count.

All restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and larger indoor venues will be required to obtain proof of vaccination from patrons and employees to protect against the continued spread of Covid-19.

Here is the official declaration:  “We know that for our city to bounce back from the pandemic and thrive, we need to use the best method we have to fight COVID-19 and that’s vaccines,” said Mayor Breed. “Many San Francisco businesses are already leading the way by requiring proof of vaccination for their customers because they care about the health of their employees, their customers, and this city. This order builds on their leadership and will help us weather the challenges ahead and keep our businesses open. Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely.”  

It seems that you need only show your CDC Vaccination card to enter.

Hope this helps! Dean and Andie

Proof of Vaccine Required in NYC Beginning Sept. 13

Immunity from having the disease does not count.

New York State’s “Excelsior Pass” is probably about to get very popular. NYC’s mayor has declared that beginning September 13, enforcement will begin requiring visitors at some venues to prove their “health” status. They can do so using this new digital pass through the app on their smart device, or by simply showing their CDC paper vaccine card. Most people should probably leave that delicate paper card at home where it’s safe and just access the app instead. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, here’s what you  need to know:

Beginning August 16, indoor dining, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment venues, such as movie houses, theatres, concert halls and night clubs must check for vaccination status. The requirement will apply to both customers and workers. Enforcement will not begin until Sept. 13, so businesses will have a grace period to figure out how to follow the new mandate. The problem we see is that the mandate does not include the thousands of people who have had Covid and recovered with antibodies. The official mayoral word is that these people must also go and get the vaccination if they want to enjoy New York City. (CITB’s thinks this is ridiculous. The Excelsior app should have a way to include these people!)

The Excelsior Pass app verifies potential users with the state’s own vaccination records.  Three million New Yorkers have downloaded it -or printed it out- since its debut, according to the state department of health.  It can be downloaded from both the Apple and Android app stores.

Update with example: Italy now accepting CDC cards from American visitors to enter venues.

August has seen a major expansion of Italy’s new “green health pass.” Europeans will need it in order to access a wide range of sights including bars, cafés, museums, cultural sites, and bus and train travel. How can visiting Americans get it? Fortunately they won’t have to!

Italy has suddenly decided to accept the CDC card of vaccinated folks from the US in lieu of the digital green pass. You must carry it on you at all times along with your passport to prove your identity that matches the card. That’s it. So what are you waiting for? Plan that trip!

(Example of this update -from Venice’s Peggy Guggenheim Museum- is shown below.)

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

-See recent blogs for other Covid travel info

Covid Test Details for Re-Entering the U.S. from Abroad

As of today’s posting, August 3, 2021, the following info from the CDC website may be of interest to some travelers: The CDC order states that everyone over age two flying into the United States from another country must show a recent (3 day) negative Covid-19 test result at the airport before they fly. This is for both citizens and non-citizens.

What type of Covid tests are acceptable under this CDC order? Passengers must be tested with either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).

Can I use a rapid test before the flight? Rapid tests are acceptable as long as they are one of the accepted viral tests.

Does a self-test meet the conditions of the CDC order? International air passengers traveling to the United States can use a self-test (sometimes referred to as “home test”) that meets the following criteria:  The test must be a nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or an antigen test allowed by the FDA.

The testing procedure must include a telehealth-service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection like Zoom. (Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription from a doctor.) The airline must be able to review and confirm the person’s identity and the test result details. The passenger may also be required to present the documentation of test results to U.S. officials upon arrival.

So should I bring my own test with me on my trip then? It depends. Some countries may restrict the importation of tests that are not authorized or registered there. Travelers who are considering bringing a U.S. authorized test with them for use outside of the United States should contact authorities about it at their destination before they travel.

Can the BinaxNow antigen self- test for Covid-19 be used to show negative proof for travel/airlines? No, this is for personal use (and peace of mind) only and doesn’t provide a documented test result that you can display when traveling.

Here’s a very helpful website that explains more of the necessary details in a very clear manner.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie