Travelers may soon be able to fly between New York City and London with a shortened quarantine period as part of a reported plan to open a travel corridor between the two major cities.
The travel corridor, which could open as soon as the holidays, would likely require passengers to get tested for COVID-19 before their flight, The Wall Street Journal reported. The plan is part of an effort from officials, including in the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security, to make international travel possible.
While nothing has yet been finalized, a Homeland Security official told the WSJ the agency was in the early stages of a plan to “safely encourage trans-Atlantic travel while mitigating public-health risks.” Part of the discussions concerns the length of quarantine: Some, like transportation officials and an airline trade group, support a 24 hour isolation period, while others are arguing for a four to seven-day quarantine.
The U.S. has also been in discussions with German officials, the paper noted.
The UK currently has travel corridors open with several dozen countries and territories, including many in Europe and several in Asia, that remove the self-isolation requirement for incoming passengers. Visitors from the U.S., however, must currently self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
New York City — once the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. — has seen a decrease in cases from the height of the spring and early summer and recently reopened indoor dining at reduced capacities. While certain parts of the city are currently experiencing an uptick in cases and are subject to further restrictions, the city remains at a 1 percent positivity rate on a 7-day rolling average, according to the state.
The numbers are far lower than the U.S. overall where several states have seen dramatic increases in cases, including Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The UK has also seen a recent growth in case numbers and implemented new restrictions at the end of September, including imposing a curfew for restaurants and bars. In addition, masks are required in taxis, and on public transportation, weddings have been limited to 15 people (down from 30), and casual gatherings remain limited to six people.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.