THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
With England in lockdown until December 2, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland developing their own regulations to limit the spread of Covid-19, the US Embassy is advising Americans to speak with their airlines and to consult UK government guidance on their eligibility to travel across the Atlantic.
Under normal circumstances, November would see an increase in travel between the US and the UK, particularly ahead of holidays including Thanksgiving. However, with increased cases of coronavirus prompting governments to re-introduce restrictions, new regulations mean that traveling to the US is likely to be more complicated.
In a post issued last week on the US Embassy website, it's written that "If you are a US citizen who needs to return home to the United States, you may be permitted to travel under current UK regulations. In order to determine your eligibility to travel, you should consult directly with your airline AND follow all UK government guidelines when making travel arrangements. US citizens should comply with the same guidance provided to British citizens at GOV.UK".
Here is a link to the section of GOV.UK which addresses travel guidance: www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
The UK's guidance says that "You can only travel internationally for the reasons you would be allowed to leave [your] home, such as for work, and subject to the rules in the country you travel to." US Citizens and green card holders are still permitted to enter the US, but it's the UK regulations on travel which the Embassy points to. These regulations suggest that the following circumstances would qualify for travel:
• travelling to work where you cannot work from home;
• travelling to education and for caring responsibilities;
• other circumstances listed in at www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/part/2/made
The regulations do not specify the rights of US citizens traveling back to the States, so if you have any questions or uncertainties, it's best to liaise with the airline in question to understand your eligibility.
For more details and information on travel, check the US Embassy's Travel Guidance information