Health Alert – U.S. Embassy London, UK

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom (updated May 26, 2020 at 09:30 BST)

Location:  United Kingdom

Event:  Health Alert

U.S. Embassy London will be sending a daily update to ensure all US citizens in the United Kingdom have the latest information about COVID19 and local conditions. Updated information will be prefaced with (NEW). If different or additional information would be useful, please email us with your suggestions at SCSLondon@state.gov

(NEW) UK to Impose 14-Day Self-Isolation for New Arrivals

From June 8, 2020, individuals arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days and may be contacted by UK authorities to verify compliance. New arrivals will be required to provide UK officials with contact and travel information upon arrival. Anyone failing to complete the information form or adhere to the new policy may be denied entry to the UK or be subject to fines. For complete details, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Parts of the UK Begin Easing Lockdown Restrictions

On May 11th UK Prime Minister Johnson addressed the British public and announced a phased reopening plan conditioned on the reproduction and infection rates of COVID-19.

Starting this week, those in England who cannot work from home should now speak to their employer about going back to work. Residents, in England, can now spend time outdoors and exercise as often as they like. Residents can meet one person outside of their household outdoors, provided they stay 2 meters apart.

Not earlier than June 1, the UK government may begin allowing some students back to school in England and open some non-essential retail. Not earlier than July 4, the UK government may open more businesses and premises in England, including potentially those offering personal care such as leisure facilities, public places, and places of worship.

The Prime Minister reiterated that social distancing measures remain crucial to keeping the infection rate and the number of cases down and warned that everyone must obey the rules on social distancing or risk fines. The UK government will continue to monitor the situation and advises everyone to continue to take the following precautions:

  • work from home if you can;
  • limit contact with other people;
  • keep the distance if you go out – 2 meters apart where possible;
  • wash your hands regularly;
  • wear a face covering when you are in enclosed spaces where it’s difficult to be socially distant – for example in some shops and on public transport;
  • and if you or anyone in your household has symptoms, everyone must self-isolate.

The devolved governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales continue to direct citizens and visitors to follow their own public health guidance. General guidelines include adherence to restricted travel. Individuals may travel outside their homes for the purposes of food shopping, health reasons, essential work, or exercise, but must always maintain 2 meters distance from those outside their households. Additional measures or guidelines may be released over the coming days, so all U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor the specific public health websites for current information.

Commercial Flights Still Available from UK to USA

The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from the UK at this time. U.S. citizens in the UK who wish to return to the United States should make commercial flight arrangements or be prepared to remain in the UK for an indefinite period.

International flights from the UK to the United States are departing from London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Four carriers are running daily flights from LHR to the United States. Below is a list of carriers and possible destinations:

  • Carriers: American, British, Delta, and United
  • Destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Commercial flights are still available from multiple UK airports connecting to London Heathrow for direct flights to the United States. Trains from Scotland to London are also still available; however, this may change at any moment. Please check the airport and rail websites for the latest information:

Guidance for Travelers Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms

 Airline staff may deny boarding to passengers exhibiting potential COVID-19 symptoms.  Passengers who are denied boarding will be directed to an airport self-isolation room where they may make quarantine arrangements before departing the airport.  Each terminal should have a designated self-isolation room.  Travelers exhibiting symptoms will be required to arrange their own transportation and accommodations for the quarantine period. 

Please visit: the Heathrow airport website for more airport information and a detailed FAQ section.  

Information Regarding Hotel Availability in the United Kingdom

 Most hotels in the UK have closed until further notice, per UK government guidance issued on March 23.  Travelers are urged to reach out to directly by phone before travel to ensure specific hotels are still operating and accepting guests.  The most up-to-date guidance can be found on the UK COVID-19 website. 

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens to enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and health updates.

On March 23, the Prime Minister advised that people should leave home only for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities
  • One form of exercise a day
  • Any medical need/care for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, only if absolutely necessary.

Visit the UK COVID-19 website for updated information.

The U.S. Mission to the United Kingdom has suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information at https://uk.usembassy.gov/

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice advising travelers to avoid non-essential travel.

Actions to Take

  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
  • Have a plan to depart the UK that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from the UK at this time. 
  • Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit our updated Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in the United Kingdom.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States

Assistance