UPDATE: Canada Makes The U.K.’s Green List

Not surprisingly, VisitBritain and other tourism officials in the United Kingdom have been buoyed by the news that the UK government will be adding Canada to its green list as of 4 am on Mon., Aug. 30, 2021.

As a result, travellers from Canada will be able to enter the UK without a mandatory quarantine; however, they will still need to take a pre-departure test and a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 of arrival. Regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated, no quarantine will be required, unless an individual tests positive.

As well, all visitors must complete the passenger locator form, which can be filled out online in the 48 hours before arriving in the UK. Travellers can find test providers in England by visiting the test provider website. Each country within the UK may have different rules in place.

Visitors are encouraged to find out before arriving in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Find more information on the traffic light system and guidelines on www.gov.uk.

Back In Business

Commenting on Canada’s move to the green list, VisitBritain senior vice president, The Americas, Paul Gauger said: “We are thrilled by the news that Canada will be added to the UK Government’s green list as of Mon., Aug.  30. Canada is a robust and growing inbound market for Britain with strong cultural ties. We know Canadians have been eager to visit again, and with Britain’s tourism and hospitality businesses reopened, we are ready to welcome them back to our iconic cities, countryside, and worldclass cultural attractions.”

Gauger continued: “Tourism is an extremely competitive global industry and we had already forecast a slow recovery, with overseas visitor spending in the UK this year of £6.2 billion compared to £28.4 billion in 2019, so being able to welcome more international visitors back by safely reducing barriers to travel is a crucial step on the industry’s road to rebuilding.”

Inbound tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, its third largest service export, worth more than £28 billion to the economy in 2019. In 2019, new records were set for both holiday visits and spend with 874,000 Canadian visits to the UK (the second highest on record). Canadians spent £724.36m in the UK in 2019.

VisitBritain has been tracking international consumer sentiment towards travel throughout the pandemic. Its latest research indicates strong pent-up demand for international travel in the next 12 months, and Britain remains high on the wish list of potential visitors. Sixty-four percent of Canadians keen to travel had not yet booked or decided where to go, giving VisitBritain an opportunity to influence decision-making, destination-choice and bookings.

Industry Responds

Response from the industry came quickly, with Andrew Crawley, American Express Global Business Travel’s chief commercial officer, commenting: “With Canada expected to open its borders to fully vaccinated UK travellers in early September, today’s addition of Canada to the UK’s green list is a strong step forward for the safe return of bilateral transatlantic travel and economic activity.”

Crawley continued: “The transatlantic travel corridor is one of the busiest trade routes in the world, with trade between Canada and the UK alone worth more than £22 billion a year.”

And he added that as the world’s leading business partner for managed travel providing business solutions to companies of all sizes in more than 140 countries,

But he also pointed out that: ““The US now remains the sole obstacle to the full return of commerce across one of the busiest trade routes in the world. It’s time for the Biden administration to lift 212(f) and take a data-driven, science-based approach to reopening international travel. The global economy can’t afford to wait.”

Shining A Light On Events

VisitBritain is also shining a light on major events for this and next year, which are set to be significant global tourism draws, including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, COP26, Coventry City of Culture, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Festival UK 2022. In addition to these events, Britain’s cities have proven resilient with an impressive roster of recent and upcoming hotel openings, captivating museums and exhibition debuts, new globally-inspired restaurants and bars, barrier-breaking distilleries and breweries, and other quintessential experiences that can only be had in Britain.

The breath-taking coasts and scenic countryside will continue to attract travellers with major happenings such as the official opening of the 2,600+ mile England Coast Path, the world’s largest continuous walking path.

Britain’s hospitality industry moved to its fourth and final stage of reopening on July 19 when restrictions were lifted. Ready to welcome international visitors back, over 50,000 businesses have signed up for the We’re Good To Go mark, launched last year by VisitEngland in partnership with the tourism boards of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The industry standard means businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the processes in place to welcome visitors back with confidence.

It has also been recognized by the World Travel & Tourism Council as meeting its international global standardized health and hygiene protocols and for its role in supporting the recovery of the UK tourism sector.

For more, go to www.visitbritain.com .

For The Record

The U.K. announced the changes yesterday (Aug. 26), and those changes will also see Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, The Azores and Switzerland – all currently on the amber list – moving to the green list on Mon., Aug. 30 @ 4 am as well. Montenegro and Thailand will also move to the U.K’s green list at the same time.