The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom has dropped by half in the last two weeks. And with nearly all its restrictions lifted, the country is now looking for an economic shot in the arm.
It’s the height of tourist season in London — but you’d never know it. There’s no sign of the more than two million Americans who used to visit every year.
The British tourism industry is desperate. Buckingham Palace would normally be mobbed at this time of year, but now there’s just a smattering of visitors.
But things are starting to change. Due to England’s highly successful vaccine program — with more than 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated — deaths and hospitalizations remain low. Clubs have reopened, pubs are back in business, and as of Monday, fully vaccinated Americans can come to the U.K. with no quarantine.
“We’re saying you can come here and you can come and visit,” U.K. Transport Minister Grant Shapps said. “You can come and see friends. You can come as a tourist if you’ve been vaccinated.”