Latest travel rules for flying to the USA

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are very-well connected to a popular destination for British holidaymakers – the United States. British Airways operates daily flights from both airports, while companies such as American, Virgin and JetBlue operate their own routes.

But if your holiday adventure involves flying over the Atlantic to an American mega-city, you should be aware that the US still maintains several coronavirus restrictions for incoming travellers. The country follows a more cautious approach than other destinations, as it is open only to vaccinated tourists and has maintained the testing requirement.

Everyone over 18 must show proof of full vaccination that shows that the final dose has been administered at least 14 days prior to travel. Brits can provide evidence of their vaccination status with the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Children and young people 17 and under are exempt.

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Additionally, passengers will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than one day before travel. Children under 2 years don’t need to test. People are then recommended to take a viral test within three to five days after they arrive. Air passengers must also provide contact information to their airlines before boarding.

Any adult who is not fully vaccinated, even if they have recovered from Covid-19, needs to have an exempt reason to be allowed in, or be a US citizen, national, or resident. Self-quarantine for a full five days and testing within three to five days after arrival are mandatory.

Individual states and territories may have their own quarantine requirements – people should check the CDC website for the full list. The country has also extended mandate to wear a mask on aircraft, trains, buses and at airports, which was set to expire on 18 April, for at least 15 days.

Everyone needs a visa or a visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor. Check the Foreign Office travel advice for more info and links to US authorities.

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