traffic sign changed priorities ahead uk travel coronavirus pandemic

With England’s 2021-22 Premier League season fixtures set, can American (and other) fans make travel plans to watch UK soccer games during the pandemic?

Here’s what we know, updated as of January 6, 2022.

What are the current restrictions regarding travel to the UK?

Passengers fully vaccinated with vaccines authorised by the EMA and FDA in Europe and the USA are able to travel to England from non-red list countries without having to quarantine on arrival.

Otherwise, non-vaccinated U.S. citizens are allowed to travel to the UK but face a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival. A testing strategy for international arrivals can reduce that time by half (see below). Details about what self-isolation / quarantine entails can be found here.

Note that a passenger locator form must be completed online and printed prior to arriving in the UK.

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?

Effective January 7, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate upon arrival in England. You must still take a PCR or LFD Covid-19 test within two days after arriving in the UK.

The list of approved vaccines by country and how to show that you are vaccinated is here.

Unvaccinated passengers must continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 and self-isolate for 10 days. You can shorten your self-isolation period with the ‘Test to Release‘ scheme, in which you can opt to pay for a test by a private provider on day 5 after arrival and, once you have proof of a negative result, immediately finish self-isolating.

Once I have completed quarantine (if necessary), can I travel within the UK?

On the bus for Prenton Park.

There are no restrictions on travel within England. If you are traveling to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can review those requirements here.

Public transportation is operating as normal. Here are the links for commonly used services:

Can I go to soccer games in the UK?

Yes, restrictions at sporting events have been lifted. Games are being played with stadiums at full capacity. All Premier League clubs are accepting the U.S.-issued CDC card as proof of vaccination for entering stadiums. If you are not fully vaccinated you will have to show proof of a recent negative test result. Find out more about matchday protocols on the Premier League website.

For more up-to-date information about going to games, be sure to read our Coronavirus FAQ post.

What else can I do while I’m on vacation in the UK?

This FAQ page from the UK government has a comprehensive list of what activities are allowed. Most tourist sights are open as normal; we recommend you check the official websites for the latest information.

What happens if I purchase tickets to a game and then it is cancelled or postponed or capacity restricted 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, if the game is cancelled and not rescheduled, or if capacity restrictions are implemented causing your ticket to be cancelled, or the game is played without spectators. If the game is postponed, your tickets will be good for the new date. Check out our FAQ, and read our refund policy for more details.

We also recommend you read our related post about travel insurance.

What happens when I return home from my trip?

Starting December 6, 2021, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative Covid-19 viral test taken no more than one day before travel to the United States per the CDC. Alternatively, they may show documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. This article from the New York Times has advice for how to get tested while you’re overseas.

So, in summary, yes, you can travel to the UK and the 2021-22 football season is underway with stadiums at full capacity. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page so we can help you plan your groundhopping adventures today!

Besides the specific topics covered above, Groundhopper Guides recommends that you stay up to date with the latest news via the following sites:

U.S. Embassy in the UK – Information for U.S. citizens in the UK
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs – Country Information for the UK

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.

Finally, here’s where you can find more information about the coronavirus:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization

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