On the heels of the United States announcing that travelers will have to quarantine upon arrival in the US, there has been a development overseas. The United Kingdom has been dealing with plenty of COVID-19 issues, including a nasty outbreak of a more virulent strain. After instituting a list of high-risk countries, the UK is taking things a step further. They have announced that visitors from 22 countries will need to submit to a mandatory, government-supervised quarantine in a hotel.
The United Kingdom hasn’t confirmed the list of 22 countries, but it’s widely believed to be derived from this list of 30 countries:
- Cape Verde
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- French Guiana
- Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
- South Africa
The Final Two Pennies
When the US announced that quarantine would be required for international travelers, I openly wondered if they would go as far as supervised quarantine. At the time, I doubted it. And, I still do. Part of the difference is the sheer number of international airports in the US with international service. I couldn’t find an exact number, but a quick scan of the top 30 airports in the US confirmed they all have international service. Heck, pretty much every state has an international flight somewhere (or did pre-pandemic).
In comparison, it appears the UK has 15 airports with international arrivals. Only a handful of those airports have sizable international arrivals. That’s still a decent number of airports but much easier to handle than a similar requirement in the US.
Still, the lack of detail behind the recent US quarantine requirement as well as the new UK government-supervised quarantine leaves many folks wondering what to actually expected if traveling internationally. We know for sure that the US now requires negative COVID-19 tests prior to entering the country.
Will UK follow the lead of countries like Norway and New Zealand, where international arrivals are largely supervised? Would the US ever seriously entertain requiring their own citizens stay in a hotel for 10 days upon return to the US? Complex questions in a complex time.
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