With England’s 2020-21 Premier League season starting on September 12, will American (and other) fans be able to travel to the UK to see games?
Here’s what we know, updated as of November 24, 2020. And here is more on the effect of the pandemic on soccer in England.
What are the current restrictions regarding travel to the UK?
U.S. citizens are allowed to travel to the UK but face a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. However, starting on December 15, a new testing strategy for international arrivals could reduce the self-isolation period by up to two-thirds. Details about what self-isolation entails can be found here. Note that a passenger locator form must be completed online and printed prior to arriving in the UK.
Citizens of other countries may be exempt from the quarantine requirement. This website is updated daily and has the complete list of countries and territories that are part of the designated travel corridor.
Here is more information about the current UK border control process.
Do I have to be tested for Covid-19 prior to traveling to the UK?
Currently, there is no requirement for showing a negative test result on arrival in the UK. However, with the new ‘Test to Release‘ scheme that takes effect on December 15, you can opt to pay for a test by a private provider on day 5 after arrival and, with a negative result, immediately finish self-isolating.
Once I have completed the mandatory self-isolation, can I travel within the UK?
Yes, public transport is functioning throughout the country although current government guidance is to avoid it if you can. Below are the links for commonly used services. Be sure to check this official page regarding regional travel restrictions.
- London Transport during coronavirus
- Using National Rail during coronavirus
- Using National Express buses during coronavirus
But can I go to games?
After a month-long national lockdown that started on November 5, the government appears ready to re-open many sports for spectators as of December 2. There will be a tiered system of restrictions based on regional virus outbreaks. For example, at Tier 1 (Medium alert), public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
For up-to-date information on the specific plans for each tier and how that will impact your ability to attend a game at a specific club, be sure to bookmark our Coronavirus FAQ post.
What else can I do while I’m on vacation in the UK?
This FAQ page has a comprehensive list of what activities are allowed.
What happens if I purchase tickets to a game and then it is cancelled, postponed, etc. due to coronavirus?
If you purchased your tickets from the club or from a third party, contact them directly. If you bought from Groundhopper Guides, you’ll get a full refund as a credit toward future purchases through us, with no expiration date.
What happens when I return home from my trip?
Per CDC, as of September 14, 2020, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are no longer required to travel through a designated airport when returning home from overseas travel, nor will there be enhanced health screening upon entry. Instead, the government will focus on educating passengers on how to mitigate the spread of the virus and will give recommendations for self-monitoring and precautions to protect others.
So, in summary, yes, you can travel to the UK, and with the latest easing of some restrictions, you might even be able to go to a soccer game!
Besides the specific topics covered above, Groundhopper Guides recommends that you stay up to date with the latest news via the following sites:
In addition, here are the current travel restrictions for each of the EU’s Member States:
Re-open EU Select a country and then click on the various icons within the pop-up window to get more detailed information.