Anyone travelling to the United States no longer has to show proof of a negative COVID test.

Travellers from the UK have been able to fly to the US since November 2021, when the coronavirus travel ban for UK tourists was lifted – although strict testing and vaccine rules remained in place.

However, the requirement for evidence of a negative COVID test or recovery from COVID has now been scrapped – from Sunday, June 12.  

A statement issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 10 stated that the US Government “had rescinded the Order titled ‘Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving in the United States from any Foreign Country.’

It went on to say, “this recession takes effect for flights departing to the United States from a foreign country at or after 12:01 am ET (4:01 am GMT) on June 12, 2022, and will be published in the Federal Register.”

“This means that as of 12:01 am ET (4:01 am GMT) on June 12, 2022, all air passengers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, are no longer required to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.

What are the requirements for vaccinated travellers?

Before this announcement, fully vaccinated visitors to the United States could only board a flight if they could show a negative PCR Fit to Fly test or a rapid antigen test taken no more than one day before travel. 

What are the requirements for unvaccinated travellers?

Despite this new ruling, unvaccinated travellers are still not allowed to enter the US. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) states, “Only those with an exception or US Citizens, US Nationals and US Lawful Permanent Residents will be able to enter the US unvaccinated.”

UK travellers can use their NHS COVID pass to prove their vaccine status.

The US doesn’t have an expiry date set on the first vaccination course, but travellers must have received their first COVID vaccine at least 14 days before their arrival in America. 

All air passengers to the USA must also provide their airline’s contact information before boarding.

Interestingly, when it comes to travelling to America, the FCDO does say, “Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travellers do not have to quarantine and are recommended to take a viral test within three to five days of arrival in the US.” However, the viral test is not a legal requirement. 

Are face masks still required in the US?

No. The national requirement to wear face masks on public transport was removed in mid-April 2022 when a judge ruled that the mandate was unlawful – however, passengers are still being encouraged to wear masks. 

However, rules on masks tend to differ in each state, so it is important to check before you travel.

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