THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Travel for Americans to the UK and Europe has been heavily restricted since the Coronavirus pandemic first unfolded. As of July 1, most travel from the US to European Union countries has not been permitted. However, travel between the US and UK is still governed by the UK's 14 day quarantine rules, while travel between the UK and EU is mostly open, albeit with quarantine rules in place. The situation has led some Americans to try and travel to Europe via the UK, but one travel writer has advised that this isn't a reliable option.
Writing in Forbes, Tamara Thiessen has explained that trying to enter Europe via the UK is a "minefield, laden with pitfalls".
In her article, Thiessen notes that some countries, like Portugal, Spain and Greece, explicity define travel via the UK for the purpose of avoiding EU bans as off limits. For other EU countries, Thiessen argues that the collective decision making of the European Union makes it unlikely that countries would go against the spirit of the regulations.
Thiessen also points out that the "The EU travel ban is based on your country of residency, not where you’ve been in the past 14 day. Most countries too appear to adhere to that principle", while in some countries, 'Proof of Residency' is required. Thiessen also explains that the regulations are being more strictly enforced to prevent loopholes from allowing such travel.
These regulations shouldn't deter Americans who have dual citizenship, a visa or rights of residency in the UK or an EU country from traveling via the UK to Europe, but if you've been considering traveling for leisure or business and aren't sure if you're within the regulations, it's best to play it safe rather than hope you can make it through border controls.