USA travel advice: entry requirements for UK visitors explained- and what are the Covid rules in the country?

Changes introduced last week (11 February) mean that fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to take any Covid-19 tests after returning to the UK from abroad.

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Fully vaccinated foreign citizens are eligible to enter the USA (Photo: Adobe)

Rules have also eased for those who are unvaccinated, as people now do not have to self-isolate on their return or take a day eight test.

Although it is still a requirement for those who are not double jabbed to show proof of a negative test taken two days before returning to the UK, plus one post-arrival PCR test.

All UK arrivals must also complete a passenger locator form before their return, but the government has pledged to make this simpler following complaints it is too complicated.

Travel trade organization Abta said the easing of rules marks a “new chapter” for the industry’s recovery and said it has sparked a surge in bookings.

Turkey, Egypt and Portugal are among the most popular short-haul destinations, while departures to the US state of Florida, Dubai, Mexico and the Caribbean have sold well for longer-haul holidays.

What are the entry requirements for the USA?

All travelers need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor. Travelers should check the US State Department website to determine which they will need.

Most fully vaccinated foreign citizens are eligible to enter the USA.

US authorities will accept any Covid-19 vaccine that has been approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include the AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen, Covidshield, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.

All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, arriving in the USA by air are required to show a negative test taken no more than one day before travel, or proof of recovery from Covid-19.

On arrival, fully vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine, but are recommended to take a viral test within three to five days.

Those who have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 90 days, regardless of vaccination status, do not need to take a test three to five days after travel.

Children aged 17 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement, but must take a test three to five days after arrival and should self-isolate should develop any symptoms or if they test positive. Children under the age of two do not need to take a pre-departure test.

If you are traveling domestically within the USA, individual states and territories may have their own quarantine requirements. A full list of local quarantine requirements is available on the CDC website

The USA will accept the UK’s NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination, or a printout of a Covid-19 vaccination record or vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider.

The final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days before travel.

Only those with an exception or US Citizens, US Nationals, and US Lawful Permanent Residents can enter the US if they have not been vaccinated.

If you do have an exception, you must show a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the past three months to the airline before boarding the flight.

What are the Covid rules in the USA?

It is a requirement for face masks to be worn on aircraft, trains, buses and at airports in the USA.

Several US states have also mandated the use of face masks while in public. Travelers are advised to consult the website of the state or city they are visiting before travel. Information can be found on the US.GOV site

Some states also have rules in place requiring visitors from states with high coronavirus states to quarantine or show proof of a negative test.

It may also be a requirement in some areas to show proof of vaccination, or a recent negative test, to access local amenities.

This may include restaurants, brs, shops, beaches, concert halls and other leisure activities.

In certain areas, children aged 17 and under may not be exempt from this requirement.

Before traveling you should check the relevant state government website. Further information can be found on theCDC website

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