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The USA is back open for UK citizens who are double vaccinated and children, but you must still take a COVID test before travelling.

This article contains everything you need to know before heading off to the airport, including the latest travel restrictions and visa requirements.

Entry Requirements for the US

You must check all entry requirements for the UK before heading to the airport – as they can change quickly.

Travel Bans

Foreign nationals are only allowed to visit the United States if they are fully vaccinated.

If you travel to the airport and attempt to board a flight to the United States and are not fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed to board the flight.

There are limited exemptions to these COVID-19 vaccination requirements, including:

  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Members of the US Armed Forces and their spouses and children (under the age of 18)
  • Participants in specific COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to reviving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception.
  • Persons with valid visas (excluding B-1 [business] or B-2 [tourism] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)
  • Sea crew members travelling with a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa

These are the minimal set of circumstances where a non-vaccinated adult foreign national would be allowed to enter the United States. If you think you meet the criteria and have relevant documentation to prove it, you must bring it to the airport.

Entry Requirements for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Pre-departure Test

All travellers aged two or over have to provide evidence of a negative PCR, LAMP or Antigen test, which has been taken no more than 24 hours before departure.

If you have recovered from a positive case of COVID-19 within the past 9- days (whether you are fully vaccinated or not), then you may use documentation of recovery from this case of COVID-19 as an alternative to the pre-departure test. Suppose you have a letter from a licenced healthcare provider or public health official stating that you are clear to travel and a positive COVID-19 test result on a test taken no more than 90 days before your flight’s departure. In that case, you don’t need to provide evidence of a negative PCR, LAMP or Antigen test.

Pre-departure Forms

All people travelling by air from the UK to the US must complete a combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation Form – this is a legal requirement. This includes any travellers flying into the US to connect to other counties as well. Parents or Guardians may complete this form on behalf of passengers aged 17 and below.

All passengers must complete the Disclosure and Attestation form before getting to the airport within 23 hours of travelling to the US. 

If all passengers in the party travelling are fully vaccinated, you can fill in the attestation form online.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of travel and hold the relevant COVID recovery certificate, please download and complete a paper copy of the Disclosure and Attestation form. 

Accepted Vaccines for travel to the US

The following vaccines are accepted for travel to the United States:

  • Janssen/J&J – Single Dose
  • Pfizer-BioNTech – Two Dose
  • Moderna – Two Dose
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca – Two Dose
  • Covishield – Two Dose
  • BIBP/Sinopharm – Two Dose
  • Sinovac – Two Dose

Accepted proof of vaccination for travel to the US

To be fully vaccinated for a trip to the US, 14 days must have passed since the date of your single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine. 

Accepted proof of vaccination includes the NHS COVID pass, EU Digital COVID Certificate and original CDC vaccination record card. 

Non-verifiable records must include the following information:

  • Personal identifiers such as your full name and date of birth – must match the personal identifiers on your passport or other travel documents.
  • Name of official source issuing the record such as public health agency or government agency
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date of vaccinations

Quarantine and arrival requirements

Quarantine requirements, mask-wearing and venue access, are based on vaccination status and vary between states. The best thing to do is to check the requirements of the local state you’re arriving in before you travel. 

Passport

Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay.

Visa

You will need to apply for and obtain an ESTA for travel if you are eligible under the US Visa Waiver Program. 

Please visit the US Department of State website for more information about the ESTA and other Visa types

Entry requirements to the US for non-vaccinated travellers

Only US Citizens, US nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents and US Immigrants will be permitted to travel to the US if they are unvaccinated. 

If you want to travel to the US from the UK and are unvaccinated, you will not be allowed to board a flight. 

Pre-departure COVID test for unvaccinated travellers to the US

All unvaccinated travellers aged two and over must present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before departure – either a lateral flow antigen or PCR.

Pre-departure Forms

All people travelling by air from the UK to the US must complete a combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation Form – this is a legal requirement. This includes any travellers flying into the US to connect to other counties as well. Parents or Guardians may complete this form on behalf of passengers aged 17 and below.

All passengers must complete the Disclosure and Attestation form before getting to the airport within 23 hours of travelling to the US. 

If all passengers in the party travelling are fully vaccinated, you can fill in the attestation form online.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of travel and hold the relevant COVID recovery certificate, please download and complete a paper copy of the Disclosure and Attestation form. 

COVID-19 testing on arrival into the US

Unvaccinated foreign nationals aged two and over who are being allowed to enter the United States as they are exempt from the vaccination requirement need to take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after arrival. 

This test must be sourced in the US from a health centre or pharmacy – a list of which can be found here

Quarantine requirements for unvaccinated travellers

Unvaccinated travellers must self-quarantine for seven days after arriving in the US in the place they are staying, e.g. a hotel.

Quarantine requirements, mask-wearing and venue access, are based on vaccination status and vary between states. The best thing to do is to check the requirements of the local state you’re arriving in before you travel. 

Passport

Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your stay.

Visa

You will need to apply for and obtain an ESTA for travel if you are eligible under the US Visa Waiver Program. 

Please visit the US Department of State website for more information about the ESTA and other Visa types

Mask wearing onboard aircrafts

On the 19th of April, the Biden Administration announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would no longer enforce the federal mandate requiring masks onboard aircraft. 

Face masks are now a personal choice for people travelling in either direction between the UK and the United States. 

Travellers may still have to wear a mask when boarding or disembarking their flight, depending on their departure and arrival airport or destination country/US state regulations. 

Further Reading

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