Can I travel to the US in 2021? Latest news on US border opening for UK

Latest: Fully vaccinated British have been allowed to travel to the US since November 8, 2021, but must show a negative PCR test result.

The US reopened its borders to fully vaccinated UK travelers on November 8, 2021. Here’s all you need to know about traveling to the US right now.

Note: this article was last updated on 28 January 2022 and was correct at time of writing. For the most up to date information, check our travel restrictions page.

What are the entry requirements for travel to the US?

To travel to the US, passengers have to show proof of full vaccination before boarding a US-bound plane, as well as a negative COVID test result taken within 24 hours of departure. Children under 18 are exempt from showing proof of vaccination, but all children over the age of two must show a negative COVID test result.

To enter the US, the vaccine you’ve received should either be FDA-approved or included in WHO’s Emergency Use Listing. The AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines measure these criteria.

Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travelers do not have to quarantine, but they are recommended to take a lateral flow or antigen test within three to five days of arrival in the US.

More details are on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Embassy websites.

What if I’m not vaccinated?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you can find out if you qualify as exempt from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Can I travel within the US?

Yes, but your journey might be affected by the fact that state, local and territorial governments have different COVID-related rules in place. You can use this search engine to check the local requirements in whichever city or zip code that you’re planning travel to.

If you do travel domestically within the US, the CDC recommends that you take a COVID-19 test one to three days before your trip, and three to five days after you travel. It should go without saying that you must not travel if you test positive, are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or were recently exposed to someone with the virus.

British holidaymakers could visit Austin, Texas, this summer if travel to the US resumes

What are the COVID restrictions in the US?

While restrictions in the US are easing, the country is a patchwork of different COVID-related restrictions on social distancing and mask wearing, which sometimes differ by state, county and even city.

For example, mask wearing is much more prevalent in California than in Texas, as is the use of vaccine passports (that means, showing your proof of vaccination on your NHS app to get into restaurants and other public venues). Wherever you are planning to go to, you should check the latest state, county or city advice and restrictions well in advance, and keep an eye on developments.

The CDC recommends that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times throughout your travel journey – which is required on planes, buses, trains, airports and stations. You should also stay two meters away from others and wash your hands often or use hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.

What are the UK’s entry requirements?

Anyone returning to the UK from the US must present a passenger locator form at border control, filled out up to 48 hours before your arrival.

It’s no longer compulsory to take a pre-departure test before flying to the UK. However, all travelers from the US to the UK must also book day two PCR or lateral flow test for when they get back to the UK. These have to be from private providers, not the NHS, and you must self-isolate at home for up to 10 days if you are unvaccinated or test positive for Covid-19.

From 11 February, 2022, day two COVID tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated arrivals in the UK. After this date, if you have two vaccinations against COVID-19, there will be no testing requirements for coming back to the UK.

However, non-vaccinated travelers will still have to take a pre-departure and day two COVID test.

Travel to the US FAQs

Do I have to quarantine if I travel to the US?

No, but the CDC recommends that you take an antigen or lateral flow test within three to five days of arriving in the US.

Do I need a negative COVID test to travel to the US?

Yes, you need to show proof of a negative pre-departure antigen, NAAT or PCR test on arrival in the US, taken less than one day before arrival.

What are the COVID restrictions in the US?

That can vary between states, counties and even cities. If you plan to travel to the US, check the local advice and restrictions before heading off.

where can i go?

Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

Want to read more?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.