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US Travelers to UK

Pauline

Forums Admin
Reports of travel chaos at Heathrow this weekend. Very long, crowded lines. This is the weekend where families return from trips because school is starting. Hopefully it will get better.

 

ElizaN

10+ Posts
That article makes me glad I made the hard choice to postpone my trip to next April. Thank you, Pauline!
 

Mom83

100+ Posts
My fully vaccinated son-in-law (UK citizen/US Permanent Resident status) just purchased his airline tickets (British Air) to visit his family in Oxford next month for just a few days. He has not seen them in almost 2 years.
He arrives on a Thursday morning...and departs back to the US on Sunday afternoon. He will get a Covid test here in the US with 72 hours of his arrival in the UK and has made reservations for a Covid test in Terminal 5 at Heathrow on the morning of his arrival. The test at Heathrow should satisfy the UK Day 2 test and the US requirement to have a Covid test within 3 days of his return to the US.
He has also purchased a 3 pack of home Covid tests just in case his return flight gets delayed or anything else unexpected occurs.
My son-in-law works for The World Bank in DC...several of his UK co-workers have made similar trips home recently and have given him their advice.
Has anyone here had a similar experience with any of the above recently? Any helpful tips are greatly appreciated.
 

Terry

100+ Posts
My son (lives in London) visited us last month (US). Tested before he arrived here, and tested before he flew back. Tested before he returned to work in UK.

On another note, just applied our BA vouchers, which have been held by BA for the past year and a half, to a trip to see the family in London this January. So far, it looks like a test before we leave here, 2 days in, then before we return to US. Stu got his booster already (immunocompromised); I’ll probably get mine in November ( 8 months from my second Moderna). Here’s hoping ….
 

Terry

100+ Posts
We just returned from our visit to UK to see my son and family. I’d like to share our experience.

We are triple vaxxed, and no COVID test was necessary before entering UK. We did need to show proof of purchase of a COVID test to be administered within two days of arrival in UK. All visitors to UK must fill out a Passenger Locator form. We decided to arrange for the tests to be done at Paddington station (near my son) on our day of arrival. Done easily through LHR website before we left home. Got our results via email within the hour.

We flew out of Philadelphia, on a Thursday evening. The airport and our plane (British Air) were more than half empty. This was a much more reassuring experience than when we flew out of Newark in November for a wedding in Israel.

Going through Border Patrol at LHR was smooth, uncrowded, and easy using the eGates. Much improved experience from pre-COVID visits!

COVID appears to be “over” in London. We stayed in the Bayswater section of town. There was a dearth of mask-wearers, although we always wore ours. The bars and restaurants are open, and people are celebrating. That being said, we never felt unsafe. Maybe because we did not go to any restaurants or bars. We did go food shopping almost daily, and to parks.

We did another COVID test the day before returning to the US (required). LHR was again half empty, as was our plane back home (this time American Airlines). We flew home Monday morning. Everyone stayed masked on the plane. Automated eGates in Philadelphia made Border Patrol very smooth, and hardly any folks at the airport.

All in all, I felt very safe traveling.
 

PatrickLondon

100+ Posts
COVID appears to be “over” in London

Not quite. True the case numbers are falling, as is the replication rate, but remain higher than last summer. Hospital admissions and deaths are also declining and crucially remain outside the "alarming" zone, except if you're unvaccinated and/or clinically vulnerable, who make up the bulk of cases.

What has changed is that legal regulations and restrictions have been stood down, apart from requirements to enter the country. TfL still require masking to travel on their services, and likewise any business can ask for masks to be worn or whatever other checks they want.
 

Terry

100+ Posts
I think the US is also reevaluating, as our case and rate numbers go down, and still, like UK, higher than last year. Some scientists are beginning to embrace an “endemic” purview of the illness, with exceptions for localized regions of concentrated illness. I only hope this is the beginning of the end. Me, I will continue to wear my mask. I actually don’t mind it, and on the up side, I haven’t had a cold for two years until this visit (probably from my grandchildren)!
 

Mom83

100+ Posts
I am so glad you were able to visit your family in the UK, Terry! Our daughter’s in-laws flew from the UK to VA for 3 weeks last month. We drove to VA from Ohio for the long MLK weekend. It was so special to all be together again, especially since our daughter’s in-laws had not seen our mutual 2 year old granddaughter since she was 2 months old...and we all found out that our daughter and son-in-law are now expecting a baby boy this summer.
 

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