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US entry requirements: latest travel restrictions explained
Tuesday May 30 2023, 09:00am
The US has dropped its Covid vaccine requirements for travellers, meaning those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated can finally enter the country without restrictions. You’ll still need a valid Esta or visa to enter — and if you’re travelling from anywhere other than the UK, do check whether there are other travel restrictions in place. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to the US right now.
Main photo: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (Getty Images)
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Can I travel if I’m unvaccinated?
Until recently, the US required all foreign nationals who are not normally resident in the country to be fully vaccinated to enter. But this requirement was dropped on May 11, meaning that, as of May 12, travellers can enter the country regardless of their vaccine status. This applies to all travellers entering by air or through land borders.
What Covid tests do I need?
In general, the US doesn’t require Covid tests before travel. But if you’re travelling from anywhere other than the UK, do check, as restrictions may be different. For example, at the start of 2023, the US introduced a temporary testing requirement for those who travelled from or via China.
Can I travel to the US without an Esta?
All British travellers will need either a visa or a visa waiver (called an Esta) to enter. You must apply for the latter at least three days before travel, although in reality it usually comes through much faster than that. It currently costs $21 (around £17).
If you’ve been to certain countries such as Cuba , you may not be eligible for an Esta. It’s worth double checking as it can depend on when your last visit was. If you’re not eligible for an Esta, you’ll only be able to travel to the US if you have a valid visa.
What are the restrictions once there?
There are no longer any Covid-related restrictions. Masks are no longer required in public settings and you don’t need to show any proof of vaccination.
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Rules for travelling to the USA from the UK explained: tests, vaccines and more
By Sarah James
The US eased travel restrictions for visitors from the UK in November 2021, with rules around testing eased in June 2022. Find out what all this means for your trip.
Can I travel to the USA?
Yes. Since November 2021, international travellers from the UK have been able to visit the USA. Between November 2021 and May 2023, this was on the condition that travellers were fully vaccinated. We were on the first flight out in early November 2021, so have first-hand experience of the process.
What Covid tests do I need to travel to the USA?
As of June 2022, the requirement for air travellers to show proof of a negative test to enter the USA has been dropped.
"We are able to take this step because of the tremendous progress we've made in our fight against the virus. We have made lifesaving vaccines and treatments widely available and these tools are working to prevent serious illness and death, and are effective against the prevalent variants circulating in the US and around the world," a senior official said in a statement.
Do I need to be vaccinated to go to the USA?
At the time of writing (2 May 2023), yes – most international air travellers need to show proof of being fully vaccinated to enter the USA. Any vaccine approved for use by the World Health Organisation or by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be accepted, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and others. The final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days before travelling.
From 11 May 2023, the US will end the vaccination requirements for interntational travellers. This is when the coronavirus public health emergency ends.
Can unvaccinated people travel to the USA?
Until 11 May, to enter the USA unvaccinated you must have been granted an exception or be a US Citizen, US National, or US Lawful Permanent Resident. You can find out if you qualify as an exception to the rules by reading the list outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
After 11 May, you don't need to be vaccinated to travel to the USA.
Do I need to wear a face mask in the USA?
Rules on wearing masks differ in each state and in different settings, so it's important to check before you travel, however there are currently no states requiring people to wear masks in public spaces. You may be required to wear a mask in certain settings, such as healthcare facilities.
Can US residents travel to London?
Can US Residents Travel to London?
Yes, US residents can travel to London. As of now, there are no specific travel restrictions or requirements for US citizens traveling to the United Kingdom. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the current global situation, including the COVID-19 pandemic, may affect travel arrangements. It’s always recommended to stay updated with the latest travel advisories and guidelines provided by the government and relevant authorities.
FAQs about Traveling from the US to London
1. Do US citizens need a visa to travel to London?
US citizens do not need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom for tourism or business purposes if their stay is less than six months. However, if you plan to stay longer or have other specific reasons for your visit, it’s advisable to check the visa requirements set by the UK government.
2. What documents are required to enter London as a US resident?
To enter London as a US resident, you will need a valid passport. It’s essential to ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay. Additionally, customs and immigration officers may ask you to provide proof of your travel plans, such as return tickets or hotel reservations.
3. What are the COVID-19-related travel requirements for US residents traveling to London?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there may be additional travel requirements and restrictions in place. These can include pre-departure COVID-19 testing, quarantine measures, or proof of vaccination. It’s crucial to regularly check the latest travel advisories and guidelines provided by both the US and UK governments before your trip.
4. Are there any specific health and safety measures in London for US travelers?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, London, like many other destinations, has implemented various health and safety measures. These may include wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, and following specific protocols in public spaces, attractions, and transportation systems. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these measures and adhere to them during your visit.
5. Is travel insurance recommended for US residents visiting London?
While travel insurance is not a mandatory requirement, it’s highly recommended to have appropriate coverage when traveling abroad. Travel insurance can provide financial protection in case of unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. Review different insurance options and choose a policy that best suits your needs.
6. What are some popular attractions in London for US travelers?
London offers a wide range of attractions and landmarks that appeal to US travelers. Some popular highlights include the iconic Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and the vibrant West End theaters. Exploring the city’s history, cultural diversity, and world-class museums can provide a memorable experience.
7. Is public transportation easily accessible in London for US tourists?
London has an extensive public transportation network, making it relatively easy for tourists to get around the city. The Underground (commonly known as the Tube), buses, taxis, and trains provide convenient options for travel. Consider purchasing an Oyster card or using contactless payment methods for seamless journeys across different modes of transport.
8. What are some local customs and etiquette to be aware of in London?
While in London, it’s polite to observe certain customs and etiquette. Queueing (waiting in line) is considered essential and cutting in line is generally frowned upon. Tipping is customary in restaurants, bars, and for services such as taxis, but it’s always good to check if a service charge has already been included. Familiarize yourself with basic greetings and address people politely, using “please” and “thank you” in interactions.
9. Are there any specific cultural considerations for US travelers in London?
As a multicultural city, London embraces diversity and welcomes visitors from around the world. It’s essential to respect different cultures, religions, and traditions when interacting with locals. Londoners value personal space and may prefer a slightly greater distance during conversations compared to some cultural norms in the United States.
10. What currency is used in London? Are credit cards widely accepted?
The currency in London is the British Pound Sterling (GBP). While cash is still accepted, credit and debit cards are widely used and accepted in most establishments. It’s recommended to inform your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage abroad.
11. What is the best time of year to visit London for US residents?
London generally experiences a temperate climate, with mild summers and cool winters. The peak tourist season falls during the summer months (June to August), when the weather is relatively warm and many events are held. However, London’s charm can be enjoyed year-round, and shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) offer pleasant weather with fewer crowds.
12. Is it safe for US residents to travel to London?
London is generally considered a safe city for travelers, including US residents. As with any destination, it’s advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as staying aware of your surroundings, securing valuables, and being cautious in crowded or tourist-dense areas. It’s also recommended to stay updated with local news and follow any travel advisories or alerts issued by the relevant authorities.
Remember to continuously monitor travel advisories and guidelines provided by the UK and US governments to ensure a safe and smooth travel experience. Enjoy your trip to London and make the most of its rich history, vibrant culture, and iconic attractions.
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Understanding The Latest International Travel Restrictions To The Us
- Last updated Nov 13, 2023
- Difficulty Beginner
- Category United States
In this ever-changing world, travel restrictions have become a regular part of our vocabulary. Whether it's for security reasons or to combat a global pandemic, governments around the world have implemented various measures to control the flow of people across their borders. As an increasingly interconnected world, these travel restrictions have a direct impact on the way we explore and experience different cultures. For those of us residing in the United States, understanding the international travel restrictions and their implications is essential for planning our next adventure. Join me as we dive into the complex web of travel regulations and uncover how they shape our travel dreams.
What You'll Learn
What are the current travel restrictions for international travelers entering the us, are there any exceptions or exemptions to the travel restrictions for certain individuals entering the us, how are the travel restrictions enforced at us airports and land border crossings, are there any specific requirements or documents that international travelers need to present in order to enter the us during the travel restrictions, are there any specific quarantine or testing requirements for international travelers arriving in the us during the travel restrictions.
International travel has been heavily affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To prevent the spread of the virus, countries around the world have implemented various travel restrictions and requirements for incoming travelers. This article will specifically address the current travel restrictions for international travelers entering the United States.
The travel restrictions for international travelers entering the US are based on various factors, such as the country of origin and the current COVID-19 situation in that country. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates a list of countries categorized as Level 1 (low risk), Level 2 (moderate risk), Level 3 (high risk), or Level 4 (very high risk). These risk levels determine the travel restrictions for each country.
Currently, travelers from Level 4 countries are not permitted to enter the US, unless they are US citizens, lawful permanent residents, or meet certain exceptions. Additionally, all travelers, regardless of country of origin, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel or documentation of recovery from the virus in the past 90 days.
It's important to note that even if a traveler meets the entry requirements, they may still be subject to additional restrictions imposed by individual states or territories within the US. Some states require additional testing or quarantine upon arrival, so it's crucial to check the local guidelines before planning any travel.
To demonstrate the process more clearly, let's take an example. If a traveler from a Level 2 country wishes to enter the US, they would need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery. Upon arrival, they may be subject to additional testing or quarantine requirements depending on the state they are entering.
To ensure compliance with the requirements, travelers should carefully review the guidelines provided by the US government, CDC, and the specific state they plan to visit. It's also advisable to contact the local US embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on travel restrictions.
The travel restrictions for international travelers entering the US are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation evolves. It's essential to stay informed and regularly check for updates to avoid any surprises or disruptions to travel plans.
In conclusion, international travelers entering the US currently face travel restrictions based on their country of origin and the COVID-19 risk level. These restrictions include providing proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery, as well as possible additional testing or quarantine requirements imposed by individual states. It's crucial for travelers to stay informed and comply with the guidelines to ensure a smooth and safe journey.
Navigating the Current Travel Restrictions in Idaho
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Yes, there are exceptions and exemptions to the travel restrictions for certain individuals entering the US. The restrictions and exemptions depend on various factors, including the individual's citizenship, visa status, and the purpose of their travel.
One of the most well-known exceptions is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens of certain countries to enter the US for tourism or business purposes without obtaining a visa. These countries include most of the European Union member states, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and a few others. However, even under the VWP, there may be restrictions and additional requirements, such as obtaining an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel.
Another exemption is for individuals with certain types of visas, such as diplomatic and official visas. These individuals are typically traveling on official business and are exempt from the travel restrictions. Additionally, individuals with valid immigrant visas, such as spouse or parent of a US citizen, are generally exempt from the restrictions.
Furthermore, there are exceptions for individuals traveling for humanitarian or public health reasons. For example, individuals (including healthcare workers) involved in the provision of medical care, medical research, or other essential services related to coronavirus public health response may be exempt from the travel restrictions.
It's important to note that even if an individual qualifies for an exemption or exception, they may still need to meet certain requirements, such as providing proof of their purpose of travel or undergoing health screenings. It's always recommended to check the latest information from the US government, such as the official websites of the US Department of State or the US Customs and Border Protection, for the most up-to-date information on exceptions and exemptions.
In conclusion, there are exceptions and exemptions to the travel restrictions for certain individuals entering the US. These exemptions depend on factors such as citizenship, visa status, and the purpose of travel. Examples of exemptions include the Visa Waiver Program, diplomatic and official visas, and humanitarian or public health reasons. However, it's important to stay informed and follow the guidelines and requirements provided by the US government.
Understanding American Airlines' Travel Restrictions: What You Need to Know Before Your Trip
Travel restrictions have become a crucial part of controlling the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. In the United States, airports and land border crossings play a significant role in implementing and enforcing these restrictions. In this article, we will explore how travel restrictions are enforced at US airports and land border crossings, focusing on the measures taken to ensure compliance and protect public health.
At US airports, the enforcement of travel restrictions begins even before passengers board their flights. Airlines are required to conduct pre-flight screenings to identify individuals who may pose a health risk. This screening process typically includes temperature checks and a series of health-related questions. Passengers who show symptoms of illness or fail to meet the necessary health criteria can be denied boarding.
Upon arrival at US airports, travelers are subjected to various measures to enforce travel restrictions. One of the key steps is the screening process conducted by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. These officers review traveler documents and may ask additional questions about their health or travel history. If a traveler is deemed to pose a health risk, further action can be taken, including quarantine or denial of entry into the country.
In addition to the CBP screening, US airports have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols to minimize the risk of transmission. High-touch surfaces such as check-in counters, security screening areas, and boarding gates are regularly sanitized. Airports have also installed hand sanitizing stations throughout the terminals and encourage passengers to maintain good hygiene practices.
Furthermore, airports in the US have deployed public health professionals to assist in the enforcement of travel restrictions. These professionals work closely with airport staff, airlines, and CBP officers to identify and respond to potential health risks. They ensure that all necessary protocols are followed and provide guidance on handling situations involving individuals who may be infected or at risk.
The enforcement of travel restrictions at US land border crossings follows a similar approach. Customs and Border Protection officers are stationed at various ports of entry to vet travelers and enforce travel restrictions. This includes screening for symptoms, reviewing travel documents, and conducting interviews. If a traveler fails to meet the necessary requirements, they may be denied entry or subjected to quarantine protocols.
To enhance control and enforcement, technology is also being utilized at US airports and land border crossings. For example, facial recognition technology is being used to verify the identity of individuals and ensure accurate documentation. This technology can help expedite the screening process while maintaining a high level of accuracy.
It is worth noting that the enforcement of travel restrictions at US airports and land border crossings is not without challenges. The sheer volume of travelers and the need for efficient processing can sometimes strain existing resources. However, efforts are continually being made to improve these processes and ensure effective enforcement of travel restrictions while safeguarding public health.
In conclusion, the enforcement of travel restrictions at US airports and land border crossings involves a multi-layered approach. From pre-flight screenings to post-arrival protocols, various measures are in place to identify and respond to health risks. The involvement of airport staff, airlines, CBP officers, and public health professionals ensures that travel restrictions are enforced effectively while protecting public health.
The Essential Guide to Navigating Mod Travel Restrictions
As travel restrictions continue to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for international travelers to stay updated on the latest entry requirements for entering the United States. Currently, there are specific requirements and documents that international travelers must present to enter the US.
First and foremost, all international travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to entering the US. The test must be taken within 72 hours before departure. The accepted tests include nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) and antigen tests. It is important to note that antibody tests are not accepted. The test result should be in paper or electronic format and must include the traveler's full name, date of birth, and the result of the test.
In addition to the negative COVID-19 test, international travelers are also required to complete a health declaration form before boarding their flight to the US. This form includes personal information, contact details, and questions regarding recent travel history and COVID-19 symptoms. It is important to complete this form accurately and truthfully.
Furthermore, all international travelers, including US citizens and permanent residents, are required to self-quarantine upon arrival in the US. The duration of the quarantine may vary depending on the traveler's vaccination status and specific state requirements. It is advisable to check the guidelines of the state or territory you are travelling to for the most up-to-date information.
For fully vaccinated individuals, there are some exemptions to the travel restrictions. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine upon arrival in the US. However, they are still required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. To be considered fully vaccinated, the individual must have received the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to travel.
It is important to note that these requirements and documents may vary for travelers from different countries and based on the specific travel restrictions in place at the time of travel. It is advisable to check the official website of the US Department of State or the US embassy or consulate in your country for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding entry requirements.
In conclusion, international travelers entering the US during the travel restrictions are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before departure, complete a health declaration form, and possibly self-quarantine upon arrival. Fully vaccinated individuals have additional exemptions but must still present a negative test result. It is important to stay updated on the latest requirements and guidelines to ensure smooth entry into the United States.
Exploring the Latest Travel Restrictions to England: What You Need to Know
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect travel plans worldwide, it's important for international travelers to stay informed about any specific quarantine or testing requirements when arriving in the United States. The U.S. government has implemented certain travel restrictions and protocols to help control the spread of the virus. In this article, we will discuss the current requirements for international travelers entering the U.S. during the pandemic.
International travelers arriving in the U.S. are currently not required to undergo a mandatory quarantine upon arrival. However, it is recommended that travelers self-monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 and follow the guidance provided by local health authorities.
To enter the U.S., international travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be taken within 3 days before the scheduled departure. This requirement applies to all international air passengers, regardless of their vaccination status or country of origin.
The test must be a viral test, such as a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test, and must be conducted by a certified laboratory or healthcare provider. Rapid tests and home tests are acceptable as long as they meet the testing requirements.
Upon arrival in the U.S., travelers should be prepared to show their negative test result to the airline before boarding the flight. Failure to provide a negative test result may result in denial of boarding.
Exceptions to testing requirements:
There are certain exceptions to the testing requirements for international travelers. For example, children under the age of 2 are not required to present a negative test result. Additionally, there may be specific exemptions for individuals who have recently recovered from COVID-19 and can provide documentation of a recent positive viral test followed by a letter of clearance from a healthcare provider.
It's important to note that even with a negative test result, travelers should still follow all COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing hands regularly.
Penalties for non-compliance:
Non-compliance with testing requirements can result in penalties, including denial of entry into the U.S. or being placed in quarantine upon arrival. It is crucial for international travelers to carefully review and comply with all testing requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.
International travel during the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to specific quarantine and testing requirements. International travelers entering the U.S. must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 3 days before departure. There are exceptions for children under 2 and individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. It is important to comply with these requirements to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure a safe travel experience. Travelers should stay updated on the latest guidelines and recommendations from the U.S. government and local health authorities to make informed decisions about their travel plans.
Ireland Eases Travel Restrictions: How This Will Impact Tourism and Travelers
Frequently asked questions.
As of the current time, there are travel restrictions in place for international travelers coming to the US. These restrictions vary depending on the traveler's country of origin. The US has implemented travel bans and restrictions on travelers from certain countries with high COVID-19 cases or variant outbreaks.
Yes, fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to travel to the US from international destinations. However, it is important to note that even fully vaccinated travelers may still be subject to testing and quarantine requirements depending on their country of origin and the current guidelines set by US authorities. It is recommended to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before planning your trip.
Yes, there are certain exemptions to the travel restrictions for international travelers coming to the US. These exemptions include US citizens and permanent residents, certain family members of US citizens and permanent residents, and individuals traveling for essential purposes such as healthcare, humanitarian reasons, and official government travel. It is essential to review the specific exemptions and requirements for your situation before planning your trip.
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Rishi Sunak joined by former PMs at Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday
Prime minister’s beleaguered home secretary, Suella Braverman, also attends ceremony led by King Charles
Rishi Sunak was joined by all living previous prime ministers and his beleaguered home secretary, Suella Braverman, for this year’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in London.
King Charles led thousands of veterans, senior politicians and members of the public in a service commemorating British military service people who died in the world wars and later conflicts.
Big Ben chimed to signal the start of the two-minute silence at 11am. It was ended by the sound of a cannon blasting from Horse Guards Parade followed by a bugler playing the last post.
Less than 24-hours earlier, there had been violent scenes around the Cenotaph as far-right protesters fought officers in what was billed a counter-protest to a much larger pro-Palestine rally.
King Charles laid the first wreath on behalf of the UK and he saluted the Cenotaph before other members of the royal family followed.
A wreath was then laid on behalf of Queen Camilla, who was dressed in black, and the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne shortly followed.
Police officers will be on a 24-hour watch of the Cenotaph throughout the day’s services, with about 1,375 officers on duty.
Supporters of the far-right activist Tommy Robinson and football hooligans clashed with police in Whitehall during Saturday’s Armistice Day, after travelling to central London to counter-protest against pro-Palestine demonstrators calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully through central London on Saturday to protest against Israel’s continued bombardment of Gaza.
The march took place amid heightened tension between the Met police and the home secretary, who last week accused the force of showing bias when it came to demonstrations and of favouring leftwing causes and what she called pro-Palestinian “hate marchers”.
Earlier in the week, government ministers, including Braverman and the justice secretary, Alex Chalk, said they did not believe Saturday’s march should proceed because of a risk of Remembrance events being disturbed or the Cenotaph being defaced.
The main annual event at the Cenotaph takes place on Remembrance Sunday. Until the second world war a commemoration for casualties would also take place on Armistice Day itself.
Among those marching in the service were nuclear test veterans, who for the first time wore a medal acknowledging their contribution.
After 70 years of waiting for recognition, those exposed to the effects of nuclear bombs during the UK’s testing programme were given a medal depicting an atom surrounded by olive branches for the Remembrance Sunday service.
More than 300 different armed forces and civilian organisations were represented, as well as 300 veterans not affiliated with an association who have been invited to join for the first time.
Sunak said: “The courage and commitment shown by our servicemen and women, both today and throughout the generations that came before them, is humbling and I know many across the country will be honouring their memory today in quiet reflection.
“Recent events have served as a stark reminder that we cannot take the hard-earned peace we live in for granted, which is why I am honoured to lay a wreath on behalf of the nation in the memory of all those that have lost their lives defending our country and the values we hold so close.
“I am determined to ensure we never forget the ultimate sacrifice they have made.”
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United Kingdom Travel Advisory
Travel advisory july 26, 2023, united kingdom - level 2: exercise increased caution.
Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.
Exercise increased caution in the United Kingdom due to terrorism.
Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the United Kingdom. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
There is also a risk of isolated violence by dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the United Kingdom.
If you decide to travel to the United Kingdom:
- Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.com/Travelgov
- Review the Country Security Report for the United Kingdom.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel and return to the United States.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
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Be aware of current health issues in the United Kingdom. Learn how to protect yourself.
Level 2 Practice Enhanced Precautions
- Global Polio September 11, 2023 Some international destinations have circulating poliovirus. Before any international travel, make sure you are up to date on your polio vaccines.
Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.
Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see Your COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.
Consider hepatitis A vaccination for most travelers. It is recommended for travelers who will be doing higher risk activities, such as visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where a traveler might get infected through food or water. It is recommended for travelers who plan on eating street food.
Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book
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Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to the United Kingdom. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to the United Kingdom.
Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book
Dosing info - Hep B
Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.
Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book
the United Kingdom is free of dog rabies. However, rabies may still be present in wildlife species, particularly bats. CDC recommends rabies vaccination before travel only for people working directly with wildlife. These people may include veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers working with specimens from mammalian species.
Rabies - CDC Yellow Book
Avoid bug bites
Learn more about tick-borne encephalitis at your destination .
Tick-borne Encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book
Avoid contaminated water
How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)
- Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
- Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
- Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
- Avoid contaminated water and soil
Airborne & droplet.
- Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
- Bite from an infected rodent
- Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
- Avoid rodents and areas where they live
- Avoid sick people
- Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.
Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in the United Kingdom, so your behaviors are important.
Eat and drink safely
Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.
- Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
- Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
- Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
- Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel
You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.
Prevent bug bites
Although the United Kingdom is an industrialized country, bug bites here can still spread diseases. Just as you would in the United States, try to avoid bug bites while spending time outside or in wooded areas.
What can I do to prevent bug bites?
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
- Consider using permethrin-treated clothing and gear if spending a lot of time outside. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
What type of insect repellent should I use?
- FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Always use insect repellent as directed.
What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?
- Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
- Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.
What can I do to avoid bed bugs?
Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .
For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .
Stay safe outdoors
If your travel plans in the United Kingdom include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip:
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
- Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
- Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
- If you are outside for many hours in the heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
- Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
- Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
- Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.
Stay safe around water
- Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
- Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if you are driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
Keep away from animals
Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.
Follow these tips to protect yourself:
- Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
- Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
- Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
- Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
- If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.
All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:
- Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
- Go to a doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.
Reduce your exposure to germs
Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.
Avoid sharing body fluids
Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.
- Use latex condoms correctly.
- Do not inject drugs.
- Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
- Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
- If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.
Know how to get medical care while traveling
Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:
- Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
- Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance for things your regular insurance will not cover.
- Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medicines you take.
- Bring copies of your prescriptions for medicine and for eye glasses and contact lenses.
- Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call the United Kingdom’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
- Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.
Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).
Select safe transportation
Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.
Be smart when you are traveling on foot.
- Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
- Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
- Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.
Choose a safe vehicle.
- Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
- Make sure there are seatbelts.
- Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
- Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
- Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
- Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.
Think about the driver.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
- Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
- Arrange payment before departing.
Follow basic safety tips.
- Wear a seatbelt at all times.
- Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
- When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
- Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
- Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
- If you choose to drive a vehicle in the United Kingdom, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
- Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
- Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
- Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
- If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
- Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.
Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.
The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.
Traffic flows on the left side of the road in the United Kingdom.
- Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
- LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.
Maintain personal security
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Before you leave
- Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
- Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
- Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
- Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.
While at your destination(s)
- Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
- Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
- Follow all local laws and social customs.
- Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
- Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
- If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.
Healthy Travel Packing List
Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for United Kingdom for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?
It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.
If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.
For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .
Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.
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U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom
Social / search, travel and health alert: u.s. embassy london, united kingdom.
Travel and Health Alert: U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom (November 29, 2021)
Location: United Kingdom
Event : Travel and Health Alert
On 28 November 2021, the United Kingdom updated its COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for travel to England. The new rules come into effect on Tuesday, 30 November at 4:00am.
There are separate rules for U.S. travelers who qualify as fully vaccinated and for those who are not fully vaccinated. The following site will assist travelers in determining their vaccination status according to the UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination .
All U.S. travelers must complete a passenger locator form before commencing travel to the United Kingdom.
After 4:00am on 30 November :
Fully vaccinated travelers must book and pay for a take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. The day of travel is day 0. If you will be in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test.
Unvaccinated travelers must take a COVID-19 test within 3 days of departure to England. You must book and pay for day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days. You must quarantine for 10 full days regardless of test results. If you are in England for less than 10 days, you must quarantine for the time you are here.
Free NHS tests do not fulfill any of the above testing requirements. Private test providers may be found at the following site: https://www.gov.uk/find-travel-test-provider .
U.S. travelers are encouraged to review the complete COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for travel to England including details on what to do after a positive test result, testing and isolation exceptions, red list countries, and the Test to Release scheme at the following site: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19
There may be slight local variations to entry rules, please see the below websites for travel to other parts of the UK.
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice
Further information on travel to the United Kingdom:
- Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page .
- Read the United Kingdom country information page .
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19 .
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for the United Kingdom.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
For emergency services, please contact the Embassy or appropriate Consulate General:
U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom 33 Nine Elms Lane London, UK SW11 7US +44 (0) 207-499-9000 from U.S.: 011 44 207-499-9000 [email protected] https://uk.usembassy.gov/
U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh +44 (0) 131 556-8315 [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Belfast +44(0) 28 9038-6100 [email protected]
State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444 United Kingdom Country Information Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
Some useful sources of updates include:
- London Metropolitan Police Service @MetPoliceUK
- Transport for London (TFL) @TFL
- London Fire Brigade @LondonFire
- City of London Police UK @CityPolice
- British Transport Police @BTP
By washingtonax | 30 November, 2021 | Categories: Alert , Belfast , Cardiff , Edinburgh , Security & Emergency Messages , Travel & Tourism , U.S. Citizen Services , U.S. Embassy London
Demonstration Alert: PLANNED DEMONSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 11 – 12, 2023
Demonstration alert: planned demonstrations throughout the united kingdom, november 4 – 5, 2023.
Disclaimer – Footer This is the official website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in The United Kingdom. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
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COVID-19 international travel advisories
If you plan to visit the U.S., you do not need to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19. U.S. citizens going abroad, check with the Department of State for travel advisories.
COVID-19 testing and vaccine rules for entering the U.S.
- As of May 12, 2023, noncitizen nonimmigrant visitors to the U.S. arriving by air or arriving by land or sea no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- As of June 12, 2022, people entering the U.S. no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test .
U.S. citizens traveling to a country outside the U.S.
Find country-specific COVID-19 travel rules from the Department of State.
See the CDC's COVID-19 guidance for safer international travel.
LAST UPDATED: October 31, 2023
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- International travel, immigration and repatriation during COVID-19
- Entering England during COVID-19
Travel to England from another country – COVID-19 rules
Check if there are any COVID-19 rules in place for travel to England from abroad.
Applies to England
- Guidance for Northern Ireland
- Guidance for Scotland
- Guidance for Wales
Travel to England rules
When you travel to England, you:
- do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel
- do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
- do not need to quarantine when you arrive
This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.
It includes people who are transiting through England.
Other countries may have rules about what you need to do to leave the country to travel to England. You should check travel advice for the country you are travelling from.
How to stay safe while in the UK and on public transport
Check separate public health guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while you are in the UK .
Travel provider and transport hub rules
Your travel provider, or the transport hub you travel through, may have COVID-19 rules in place. For example, they may require or advise you to wear a face covering.
You should follow any COVID-19 rules and guidance from:
- your travel provider – airline, ferry, coach or train company
- the transport venue – airport, port, coach or railway station
Travel abroad from the UK
Other countries may still have COVID-19 rules that you must follow to travel there from the UK .
Check the ‘Entry requirements’ section of foreign travel advice for all countries you will visit or travel through .
You do not need to take any COVID-19 tests to travel to England from mainland China.
Updated rules for people travelling from mainland China announced.
New rules for travel from China come into force today.
More information about COVID-19 testing requirements for travel from mainland China to England.
From 5 January, people flying from mainland China to England will be asked to take a COVID-19 pre-departure test.
When you arrive in England from abroad you do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a UK passenger locator form.
If you will arrive in England after 4am, Friday 18 March, you do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a UK passenger locator form.
If you began your journey in Russia, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, or take a COVID-19 test before travel to England or on arrival.
If you began your journey in Ukraine, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, or take a COVID-19 test before travel to England or on arrival.
From 9am Monday 28 February, you can fill in the UK passenger locator form up to 3 days before you arrive in England.
From 24 February, there is no legal requirement to self-isolate if you get a positive day 2 test result.
You do not need to take any COVID-19 travel tests or self-isolate on arrival in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated.
The testing and quarantine rules for international travel to England will change 11 February 2022.
You can now choose a lateral flow test or a PCR test as your post arrival test.
From 4am 7 January you do not have to quarantine on arrival in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England.
Changes to rules for fully vaccinated people travelling to England from 4am 7 January 2022.
People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can now end self-isolation after 7 days with 2 negative lateral flow tests.
Further information about quarantine rules for children aged 4 and under.
People aged 12 years and over must COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.
From 4am, Tuesday 7 December all people aged 12 years and over must also take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.
People who qualify as fully vaccinated must quarantine and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.
From 4am 30 November 2021, fully vaccinated people must self-isolate and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. They may leave self-isolation if their PCR result is negative. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.
South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe will move onto the red list at 12.00 midday Friday 26 November. A temporary flight ban will be in place and all travellers who have been in these countries must quarantine and take tests.
Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence.
Clarification about unclear or inconclusive test results.
From 4am 22 November 2021, all children aged 17 and under will not have to quarantine on arrival in England.
People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can book a lateral flow test for use from 24 October instead of a PCR test.
From 22 October, if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you will be able to book an antigen lateral flow device (LFD) test instead of a PCR for your ‘on arrival’ test.
Rule changes for international travel to England for people who qualify as fully vaccinated.
Changes to amber list rules on quarantine and testing.
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Do I need a Covid test to fly to the USA from the UK? Latest US travel rules for airline passengers
Passengers flying from Heathrow Airport and other airports in the UK are among those affected by the change
- 12:28, 11 JUN 2022
- Updated 15:13, 11 JUN 2022
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The USA is lifting its requirement that international air travellers to the country take a Covid-19 test within a day before boarding their flights, easing one of the last remaining US Government mandates meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus. A senior administration official said the mandate expires on Sunday (June 12) at 12.01am eastern time in America, saying the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that it is no longer necessary.
The official, speaking on Friday, June 10, said the agency would re-evaluate the need for the testing requirement every 90 days and that it could be reintroduced if a troubling new coronavirus variant emerges. The Biden administration put in place the testing requirement last year, as it moved away from restrictions that banned non-essential travel from several dozen countries — most of Europe, China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Iran — and instead focuses on classifying individuals by the risk they pose to others.
It was coupled with a requirement that foreign, non-immigrant adults traveling to the United States from Heathrow Airport and other foreign airports need to be fully vaccinated, with only limited exceptions. The initial mandate allowed those who were fully vaccinated to show proof of a negative test within three days of travel , while unvaccinated people had to present a test taken within one day of travel.
Read More: New travel rules for Japan as foreign tourists to be let in
In November, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant swept the world, the Biden administration toughened the requirement and required all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, to test within a day of travel to the US. Airline and tourism groups have been pressing the administration for months to eliminate the testing requirement, saying it discourages people from booking international trips because they could be stranded overseas if they contract the virus on their trip.
Roger Dow, president of the US Travel Association, called lifting the testing rule “another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States”. While domestic US travel has returned nearly to pre-pandemic levels, international travel — which is very lucrative for the airlines — has continued to lag.
In May, US international air travel remained 24% below 2019 levels, with declines among both US and foreign citizens, according to trade group Airlines for America. Many other countries have lifted their testing requirements for fully vaccinated and boosted travellers in a bid to increase tourism.
In February, the groups argued the testing requirement was obsolete because of the high number of Omicron cases already in every state, higher vaccinations rates and new treatments for the virus. Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement: “I’m glad CDC suspended the burdensome coronavirus testing requirement for international travellers, and I’ll continue to do all I can to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry.”
The requirement for a negative Covid-19 test before flying to the US dates to January 2021. It is the most visible remaining US travel restriction of the pandemic era. In April, a federal judge in Florida struck down a requirement that passengers wear masks on planes and public transportation, saying that the CDC had exceeded its authority.
The Biden administration is appealing against that ruling, saying it aims to protect the CDC’s ability to respond to future health emergencies. The official said the CDC will continue to recommend Covid-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind as a safety precaution.
Despite ending the testing requirement, the CDC will continue to recommend Covid-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind as a safety precaution, according to the senior administration official.
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- Fact Sheets
Frequently Asked Questions: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S.
Updated Date: April 21, 2022
Since January 22, 2022, DHS has required non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination upon request. On April 21, 2022, DHS announced that it would extend these requirements. In determining whether and when to rescind this order, DHS anticipates that it will take account of whether the vaccination requirement for non-U.S. air travelers remains in place.
These requirements apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for essential or non-essential reasons. They do not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.
Effective November 8, 2021, new air travel requirements applied to many noncitizens who are visiting the United States temporarily. These travelers are also required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. All air travelers, including U.S. persons, must test negative for COVID-19 prior to departure. Limited exceptions apply. See CDC guidance for more details regarding air travel requirements.
Below is more information about what to know before you go, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about cross-border travel.
Entering the U.S. Through a Land Port of Entry or Ferry Terminal
Q. what are the requirements for travelers entering the united states through land poes.
A: Before embarking on a trip to the United States, non-U.S. travelers should be prepared for the following:
- Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
- During border inspection, verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative compliant border crossing document, such as a valid passport (and visa if required), Trusted Traveler Program card, a Department of State-issued Border Crossing Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Tribal Card when entering the country. Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should be prepared to present the WHTI-compliant document and any other documents requested by the CBP officer.
Q. What are the requirements to enter the United States for children under the age of 18 who can't be vaccinated?
A: Children under 18 years of age are excepted from the vaccination requirement at land and ferry POEs.
Q: Which vaccines/combination of vaccines will be accepted?
A: Per CDC guidelines, all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorized vaccines, as well as all vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO), will be accepted.
- More details are available in CDC guidance here .
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial;
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.
Q. Is the United States requiring travelers to have a booster dose to be considered fully vaccinated for border entry purposes?
A: No. The CDC guidance for “full vaccination” can be found here.
Q: Do U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents need proof of vaccination to return to the United States via land POEs and ferry terminals?
A: No. Vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). Travelers that exhibit signs or symptoms of illness will be referred to CDC for additional medical evaluation.
Q: Is pre- or at-arrival COVID testing required to enter the United States via land POEs or ferry terminals?
A: No, there is no COVID testing requirement to enter the United States via land POE or ferry terminals. In this respect, the requirement for entering by a land POE or ferry terminal differs from arrival via air, where there is a requirement to have a negative test result before departure.
Processing Changes Announced on January 22, 2022
Q: new changes were recently announced. what changed on january 22.
A: Since January 22, 2022, non-citizens who are not U.S. nationals or Lawful Permanent Residents have been required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States at land ports of entry and ferry terminals, whether for essential or nonessential purposes. Previously, DHS required that non-U.S. persons be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States for nonessential purposes. Effective January 22, all non-U.S. individuals, to include essential travelers, must be prepared to attest to vaccination status and present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request. DHS announced an extension of this policy on April 21, 2022.
Q: Who is affected by the changes announced on January 22?
A: This requirement does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents. It applies to other noncitizens, such as a citizen of Mexico, Canada, or any other country seeking to enter the United States through a land port of entry or ferry terminal.
Q: Do U.S. citizens need proof of vaccination to return to the United States via land port of entry or ferry terminals?
A: Vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. Citizens, U.S. nationals or U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents. Travelers that exhibit signs or symptoms of illness will be referred to CDC for additional medical evaluation.
Q: What is essential travel?
A: Under the prior policy, there was an exception from temporary travel restrictions for “essential travel.” Essential travel included travel to attend educational institutions, travel to work in the United States, travel for emergency response and public health purposes, and travel for lawful cross-border trade (e.g., commercial truckers). Under current policy, there is no exception for essential travel.
Q: Will there be any exemptions?
A: While most non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States will need to be vaccinated, there is a narrow list of exemptions consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order in the air travel context.
- Certain categories of individuals on diplomatic or official foreign government travel as specified in the CDC Order
- Children under 18 years of age;
- Certain participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials as specified in the CDC Order;
- Individuals with medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as specified in the CDC Order;
- Individuals issued a humanitarian or emergency exception by the Secretary of Homeland Security;
- Individuals with valid nonimmigrant visas (excluding B-1 [business] or B-2 [tourism] visas) who are citizens of a country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability, as specified in the CDC Order
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age) as specified in the CDC Order; and
- Individuals whose entry would be in the U.S. national interest, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Q: What documentation will be required to show vaccination status?
A: Non-U.S. individuals are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request regardless of the purpose of travel.
The current documentation requirement remains the same and is available on the CDC website . Documentation requirements for entry at land ports of entry and ferry terminals mirror those for entry by air.
Q: What happens if someone doesn’t have proof of vaccine status?
A: If non-U.S. individuals cannot present proof of vaccination upon request, they will not be admitted into the United States and will either be subject to removal or be allowed to withdraw their application for entry.
Q: Will incoming travelers be required to present COVID-19 test results?
A: There is no COVID-19 testing requirement for travelers at land border ports of entry, including ferry terminals.
Q: What does this mean for those who can't be vaccinated, either due to age or other health considerations?
A: See CDC guidance for additional information on this topic. Note that the vaccine requirement does not apply to children under 18 years of age.
Q: Does this requirement apply to amateur and professional athletes?
A: Yes, unless they qualify for one of the narrow CDC exemptions.
Q: Are commercial truckers required to be vaccinated?
A: Yes, unless they qualify for one of the narrow CDC exemptions. These requirements also apply to bus drivers as well as rail and ferry operators.
Q. Do you expect border wait times to increase?
A: As travelers navigate these new travel requirements, wait times may increase. Travelers should account for the possibility of longer than normal wait times and lines at U.S. land border crossings when planning their trip and are kindly encouraged to exercise patience.
To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.
Q: How is Customs and Border Protection staffing the ports of entry?
A: CBP’s current staffing levels at ports of entry throughout the United States are commensurate with pre-pandemic levels. CBP has continued to hire and train new employees throughout the pandemic. CBP expects some travelers to be non-compliant with the proof of vaccination requirements, which may at times lead to an increase in border wait times. Although trade and travel facilitation remain a priority, we cannot compromise national security, which is our primary mission. CBP Office of Field Operations will continue to dedicate its finite resources to the processing of arriving traffic with emphasis on trade facilitation to ensure economic recovery.
Q: What happens if a vaccinated individual is traveling with an unvaccinated individual?
A: The unvaccinated individual (if 18 or over) would not be eligible for admission.
Q: If I am traveling for an essential reason but am not vaccinated can I still enter?
A: No, if you are a non-U.S. individual. The policy announced on January 22, 2022 applies to both essential and non-essential travel by non-U.S. individual travelers. Since January 22, DHS has required that all inbound non-U.S. individuals crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination upon request.
Q: Are sea crew members on vessels required to have a COVID vaccine to disembark?
A: Sea crew members traveling pursuant to a C-1 or D nonimmigrant visa are not excepted from COVID-19 vaccine requirements at the land border. This is a difference from the international air transportation context.
Entering the U.S. via Air Travel
Q: what are the covid vaccination requirements for air passengers to the united states .
A: According to CDC requirements [www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html | Link no longer valid], most noncitizens who are visiting the United States temporarily must be fully vaccinated prior to boarding a flight to the United States. These travelers are required to show proof of vaccination. A list of covered individuals is available on the CDC website.
Q: What are the COVID testing requirements for air passengers to the United States?
A: Effective Sunday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. ET, CDC will no longer require pre-departure COVID-19 testing for U.S.-bound air travelers.
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England’s international Covid travel rules have been simplified.
The change, which came into force on Monday, replaced a traffic light-inspired system with a single “red” list of places that present the highest virus risk.
By Isabella Kwai
- Published Oct. 4, 2021 Updated Oct. 29, 2021
LONDON — Streamlined coronavirus restrictions on international travel in and out of England came into effect on Monday, including an easing of testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals.
The change, which went into effect at 4 a.m. local time, replaced a three-tier traffic light-inspired system with a single “red” list of countries and territories that present the highest risk.
Critics had complained that the old system — which periodically involved the government altering the risk status of countries and which left Britons scrambling to figure out the latest rules during vacations — had caused confusion within the travel industry.
“We are accelerating towards a future where travel continues to reopen safely and remains open for good,” Grant Shapps, Britain’s transportation secretary, said in a statement, “and today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.” Mr. Shapps attributed the move to the vaccination rate; 67 percent of the population of the United Kingdom is fully vaccinated .
Under the new rules, fully vaccinated travelers entering England will no longer be required to take a pre-departure coronavirus test when returning from a country that is not on the red list. And though travelers must still pay for a test to take on the second day after their return, beginning later this month, the government said it would accept less expensive rapid tests over polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., tests.
Arrivals who tested positive, however, would still need to isolate and take a P.C.R. test, “which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants,” the government said.
Testing and quarantine requirements for those who are not fully vaccinated remain the same, as do rules for those entering from “red” list countries.
After the success of a pilot test involving arrivals from United States and Europe, England will also begin a phased approach to recognizing vaccinations that have been administered in other countries and territories, expanding that list on Monday to over 50 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Canada.
In the past week, Britain reported an average of 33,779 daily cases and 112 daily deaths, according to a New York Times database. Cases have increased by 16 percent from the average two weeks ago.
Isabella Kwai is a breaking news reporter in the London bureau. She joined The Times in 2017 as part of the Australia bureau. More about Isabella Kwai
How to Travel to Europe from the U.S. Right Now
European countries have again adjusted their policies after the united states was removed from the eu safe travel list—and the result is a wide variety of entry protocols, ranging from outright bans to no changes at all..
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As of September 9, only vaccinated Americans can still travel to France for leisure purposes.
Photo by Shutterstock
On August 30, the United States was removed from the European Union’s approved list of countries for entry—only a little more than two months after it had finally been added to the list following a seemingly endless 458-day ban on travel from the U.S. to Europe.
The move left many travelers wondering if and how the decision would affect their upcoming travel plans. The answers depend on how individual countries in the 27-nation European Union respond to the recommendation, which is just that, a recommendation.
America’s spot on the European Council’s approved travel list meant that EU countries could relax restrictions for U.S. leisure travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated—and that’s exactly what the vast majority did. Now that the United States has been removed, European countries have responded with a wide range of policy adjustments—from outright bans on travel from the U.S. (such as in Sweden and Bulgaria), to restricting unvaccinated travelers from entering while still allowing vaccinated visitors to come (Italy, Germany, France and Spain have taken this path). And some have changed nothing at all about their policies toward U.S. travelers—at least not yet.
The council’s recommendations state that only vaccinated travelers, those traveling for essential reasons, and those traveling for nonessential reasons from the list of approved countries should be allowed to enter Europe.
But each country in Europe ultimately has the final say on what its requirements are—and will be—for travelers entering its borders. After more than a year and a half of travelers having to chase down constant changes to entry restrictions around the world, the latest round of updates in Europe has proven to be no exception to what has been a never-ending patchwork of new rules and regulations to navigate.
Are Americans banned from traveling to Europe now?
No, Americans are not banned from traveling to all of Europe.
At press time, two European countries—Sweden and Bulgaria—had reintroduced outright bans on U.S. travel. But the majority of European countries remain open to U.S. travelers, particularly those who are vaccinated. Some countries have introduced new regulations barring nonessential travel for unvaccinated U.S. travelers, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain—meaning no vaccination, no leisure travel.
But Portugal has said it will continue to allow U.S. travelers to enter, regardless of vaccination status, as long as they provide a negative COVID test result upon arrival, and some countries, such as Greece, have not yet instituted changes that cut off access to U.S. travelers.
Once countries reach certain epidemiological benchmarks (no more than 75 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, for instance), they can be considered for the European Council’s approved countries list, which allows for the lifting of restrictions on nonessential travel regardless of vaccination status.
Unfortunately, during the current Delta variant–spurred wave , the United States has surpassed some of those benchmarks and thus has been removed from the list. For instance, one of the requirements is that cases should be stable or decreasing, but the United States has seen a steady uptick in cases in recent weeks.
Of course, there could be additional changes and updates in the coming days and weeks, especially as countries keep a close watch on factors such as the Delta variant and the evolution of the pandemic in general. European Union leaders have agreed on an “emergency brake mechanism” that takes into account the possible risks posed by new variants and allows new restrictions to be imposed quickly if need be.
It is worth noting that the United States still has a ban in place on travel from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, with the exception of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
What kind of proof of vaccination must Americans have to enter Europe?
The European Union is facilitating travel within Europe with the EU Digital COVID Certificate, a digital pass for EU residents who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, tested negative for the virus, or have recovered from it. While the digital document has not yet been made widely available to U.S. travelers, most European countries asking U.S. travelers for proof of vaccination status as one of the requirements for entry have indicated that the CDC-issued paper certificate will suffice.
How can U.S. travelers stay up to date on EU travel restrictions?
One excellent resource is the U.S. State Department’s detailed COVID-19 travel information and country-specific advisories , which are typically updated regularly. We often cross-check these references with entry requirements that are published by each individual country’s foreign or public health affairs office (many of which are linked below). Countries’ official tourism marketing organizations often provide up to date information for travelers as well.
U.S. travelers should be aware that all international passengers age two and older flying into the U.S. (including returning U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test procured within three days before boarding their flight to the United States.
In addition, the CDC has detailed recommendations for travel during the pandemic, both for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Travelers should also verify all the public health measures and openings and closures that are in place throughout Europe. European countries are all closely monitoring pandemic factors such as the Delta variant . Some businesses and services may have limited operating hours or capacity restrictions, curfews could be in place, and there could be additional regulations on the ground, including COVID passes that are required for entry into certain venues such as in France and Italy . These restrictions can change frequently so it’s important to stay current.
A country-by-country guide to travel restrictions for Americans in Europe
Here’s a brief summary of how some European countries are approaching travel for Americans as of September 8, 2021. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it serves as an example of how different all the rules and regulations continue to be within Europe. It remains vital that travelers heading into Europe and crossing borders within Europe are up to date on the latest travel restrictions related to COVID-19 because they are constantly changing.
Quarantine-free travel from the United States to Austria is allowed as long as travelers present a CDC-issued vaccination certificate indicating they received their second vaccine dose no more than 360 days prior to travel or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 180 days. Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. can still enter Austria but must pre-register , present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival (a PCR from within 72 hours of travel, or an antigen from within 48 hours of travel), and they must quarantine for 10 days, according to the Austrian government .
Nonessential travel from the U.S. to Belgium is permitted provided travelers have a valid vaccine certificate, according to the U.S. Embassy in Belgium . Those who are not vaccinated are not permitted to enter Belgium for nonessential travel purposes. Travelers entering Belgium need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form no more than 48 hours before arrival.
On September 1, Bulgaria classified the United States as a “red zone” country, meaning that all travelers arriving from the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, can only enter if they have a valid exception—in short, nonessential travel is out. “The fact that you are vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result is not considered an exception,” reports the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria . Interestingly, though, Bulgaria’s requirements are based on where you are traveling from, not citizenship, so U.S. travelers arriving from “green” or “orange” zone countries may enter Bulgaria.
Leisure travelers can enter Croatia if they present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate (the final dose must have been administered at least 14 days and no more than 270 days prior to arrival); can present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival or a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival in Croatia; or were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 (there are several very specific requirements for this, so confirm the latest with the Croatian government ). Children under 12 are exempt.
The U.S. Embassy in Croatia reminds travelers that they must fill out an arrival form at Enter Croatia before reaching the border.
Cyprus is following a color-coded system for COVID travel requirements. At press time, the United States was classified as red, meaning that travelers from the U.S. to Cyprus must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test procured within 72 hours of departure and complete an online Cyprus Flight Pass form . They will also need to pay 15–19 euros (US$18–$22) for a PCR test that they will take upon arrival in Cyprus; the result will be available within three hours online . Children under 12 are exempt from the testing.
Czech Republic (Czechia)
The Czech Republic now considers the United States a country with very high risk, and as such U.S. travelers must present proof of vaccination or proof of having recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days. Those who are unvaccinated will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of travel or a negative antigen test from within 48 hours of travel to the Czech Republic. They will then be required to take another PCR test five days after arrival and will have to quarantine until a negative result is procured, according to the Czech government .
Vaccinated U.S. travelers are still welcome to enter Denmark , but those who have recovered from COVID-19 now need a “worthy purpose” to enter—such as for work, studies, family, legal, or real estate matters—and unvaccinated U.S. travelers must quarantine after arrival in addition to providing a negative COVID-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of boarding and then getting tested again upon arrival. (They didn’t have to quarantine before.)
Estonia is only welcoming vaccinated U.S. travelers or unvaccinated travelers who are traveling for an essential work, study, or family reason. Travelers arrriving in Estonia must complete an online health declaration , according to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia .
Finland has reopened its borders to leisure travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including Americans, with the last dose having been administered at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers must present their CDC-issued vaccination certificate upon arrival in Finland, after which there will be no mandatory COVID-19 testing or quarantine.
Unvaccinated travelers from the United States are allowed to enter Finland for essential reasons only, according to the U.S. Embassy in Finland . They must also provide a negative COVID-19 test result, furnish proof of recent recovery from COVID-19, or take two COVID-19 tests upon arrival, the embassy advises.
Unvaccinated minors under 18 can enter with vaccinated parents or guardians.
On September 9, France moved the United States from its “green list” to its “orange list” of countries (or “amber list” depending on which section of the French government’s website you are looking at), meaning that unvaccinated U.S. travelers are no longer allowed to travel to France unless they have a pressing or compelling reason, such as being an EU citizen or resident, for an essential work purpose, or for studies.
Vaccinated travelers from the United States can continue to enter France with no additional requirements other than submitting a health declaration form . Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months can present a certificate of recovery to enter France.
Unvaccinated minors traveling from the U.S. are allowed to enter France, but those age 12 and older will have to show a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 or 48 hours, respectively, before their flight.
As of July 21, visitors now need a special COVID pass to ride up the Eiffel Tower or visit French museums or movie theaters. To get the COVID pass, people must show they are either fully vaccinated, have a negative virus test, or provide proof they recently recovered from an infection.
Germany is no longer allowing unvaccinated Americans to enter for leisure travel after removing the United States from its list of unrestricted countries. Those arriving from countries that are not on the list must either be vaccinated or be traveling for an essential reason (such as an approved work purpose). For proof of vaccination, it must have been at least 14 days since the last vaccine dose was administered, and travelers must have a physical copy of their vaccine certificate. (A digital photo of a card will not be accepted.)
Travelers from the United States are allowed to enter Greece without having to quarantine if they meet certain conditions, according to the Greek government .
Those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to arrival do not need to quarantine and are also not required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Those who are not vaccinated will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was conducted no more than 72 hours before arrival or a negative antigen test conducted no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Greece. Children under 12 are exempt.
Every traveler must fill out a passenger locator form no more than 24 hours prior to arriving in Greece.
All international arrivals will be subject to random and mandatory health checks in Greece, which can include a rapid COVID-19 antigen test. Those who test positive for COVID will be transported to a quarantine hotel, paid for by the Greek government, where they will take a COVID-19 PCR test to confirm the results. For travelers who test positive again, they will remain in quarantine for at least 10 days, after which they will undergo a new round of testing to determine if they are COVID-free.
Visit Hungary notes that those who have been vaccinated, who have recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months, or who present a negative molecular COVID test from within 72 hours of travel are not subject to travel restrictions in Hungary.
Iceland welcomes vaccinated travelers and those who have recovered from COVID-19 into the country. They will still have to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result from within 72 hours ahead of arrival. A second test after arrival is recommended but not required. Those who are not vaccinated may travel to Iceland as well, but they will have to submit to a COVID-19 test upon arriving in Iceland, quarantine for five days, and then undergo a second test after the five-day quarantine. Everyone needs to preregister before visiting the country.
Travelers must provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated (so two doses if two doses are required) at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Read more: Iceland Travel Restrictions Continue to Change—Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Travelers from all non-European countries, including the U.K. and the U.S., are allowed to enter Ireland as of July 19 as long as the country is not on the European Union’s “emergency brake” list—countries that have new or renewed restrictions applied to them due to a worsening epidemiological situation.
Travelers arriving from the U.S. must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to bypass otherwise mandatory COVID-19 testing and quarantine. Those without proof of vaccination will need to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours before arrival. They will then need to quarantine after arrival and take a second postarrival test.
In Italy , the latest changes have resulted in a new testing requirement for the vaccinated and no access for unvaccinated leisure travelers. Prior to August 31, Americans could enter Italy as long as they were vaccinated, had recovered from COVID, or presented a negative COVID test result. As of August 31, only those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID can enter (which means that unvaccinated leisure travelers won’t be allowed to enter), and they will also need to have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test result from within 72 hours of travel.
As of August 6, Italy requires people to have COVID passes to enter gyms, museums, and movie theaters, sit inside restaurants, and access other venues. To be eligible for a pass, individuals must prove they have received at least one vaccine dose in the last nine months, recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months, or tested negative in the previous 48 hours.
After the Netherlands introduced a new 10-day quarantine requirement for vaccinated U.S. travelers on September 4, the government doubled back on its decision and is dropping the mandatory quarantine for vaccinated U.S. travelers effective September 22, 2021. Vaccinated travelers will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test performed within 24 hours before departure for the Netherlands. Children under 12 are exempt. Unvaccinated travelers are currently prohibited from entering for nonessential or leisure travel purposes.
Fully vaccinated travelers (meaning it has been at least 14 days since their second dose if two doses were required) entering Poland , including those from the U.S., are exempt from an otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Following the European Council’s decision to remove the U.S. from its safe travel list, Portugal announced that it will remain open to travelers from the United States. U.S. travelers must present a vaccine certificate or a negative PCR or antigen COVID test procured within 72 hours of boarding their flight to enter Portugal. Children under 12 are exempt.
The U.S. Embassy in Portugal reminds travelers that they must complete a Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of traveling to Portugal and that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result is now required upon checking in at hotels, resorts, and vacation rental accommodations.
U.S. travelers who want to visit the Portuguese islands of the Azores or Madeira should be aware that they both have their own rules for entry.
International travelers arriving in Romania, including Americans, can skip a 14-day quarantine requirement if they provide proof of vaccination (completed at least 10 days prior to arrival) or proof of recovery from COVID-19, according to the U.S. Embassy in Romania . Children 3 and younger are exempt. Children age 3 to 16 must provide a negative COVID PCR test from within 72 hours of travel.
Spain is no longer allowing unvaccinated Americans to enter for leisure travel after it removed the United States from its list of countries with unrestricted access. Those arriving from countries that are not on the list must either be vaccinated or be traveling for an essential reason (such as an approved work purpose). Travelers to Spain from the U.S. must also fill out an online Health Control Form and present the resulting QR code upon arrival.
After lifting its ban on travel from the United States on June 30, Sweden has reinstated its U.S. travel ban, effective September 6. From June 30 to September 6, U.S. travelers who presented proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within 48 hours prior to arrival could enter Sweden, regardless of vaccination status. Now, only those Americans who are traveling to Sweden for an exempted purpose, such as residents of Sweden or essential workers, will be allowed to enter; they will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival. Leisure travelers will be turned away at the border.
As of June 28, fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. can enter Switzerland and will not need to quarantine or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. They will just need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated travelers will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of travel or a negative COVID rapid antigen test result from within 48 hours of travel.
Travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will need to fill out an online form before entering Switzerland.
Vaccinated Americans can enter the United Kingdom without a mandatory quarantine, the British government announced on July 28.
Fully vaccinated Americans arriving into the U.K. are required to submit a predeparture negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arrival and will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test on day 2 after arrival. Those vaccinated in the U.S. will also need to provide proof of U.S. residency.
Children age 11 and younger are exempt from the U.K.’s testing requirements for international arrivals.
Everyone entering the United Kingdom from abroad must fill out a passenger locator form before arrival, on which they will provide U.K. border control with their contact details, including their phone number and the address of their U.K. accommodation.
Unvaccinated Americans arriving in the U.K. are required to quarantine for 10 days and take three COVID tests—one within 3 days prior to departure to the U.K. and two (reserved in advance) after arrival, on day 2 and day 8 of the 10-day quarantine.
This article was originally published on May 6, 2020. It has been updated frequently, most recently on September 17, 2021, to include current information.
>> Next: Everything You Need to Know About Vaccinated Travel
CDC Will Now Screen You for COVID, Flu, and RSV at 4 Major Airports
Posted: November 7, 2023 | Last updated: November 7, 2023
If you're a frequent traveler, you've probably noticed that some airports already offer COVID testing —but effective immediately, health screenings are expanding. CNN reports those testing centers, which are operated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will now also screen for more than 30 different types of pathogens , including the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other respiratory viruses.
RELATED: Doctor Reveals COVID Symptoms in Patients Who Haven't Gotten a Fall Booster .
The CDC's Travelers' Health Branch oversees the Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program , which was first initiated in 2021. Since then, the program has evolved to track new subvariants of COVID, as well as other pathogens. These are detected through wastewater samples and voluntary nasal swabs.
As we encroach on one of the busiest travel times of the year, Travelers' Health Branch chief Cindy Friedman , MD, tells CNN that instituting a genomic surveillance program at airports can help detect "new and emerging infections."
CNN reports that the CDC's traveler genomic surveillance program will "test for more than 30 bacteria, antimicrobial resistance targets and viruses including influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV."
The program will roll out at four major international airports across the U.S.: Boston Logan, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International, and John F. Kennedy (JFK) in New York. Travelers are invited to participate in a voluntary nasal swab upon arrival. While participation isn't mandatory, Friedman did note a higher number of samples could lead to early detection.
According to CNN, over 37,000 nasal samples have been collected thus far. Passengers were traveling from over 135 countries, and the CDC has sent more than 14,000 samples back for further analysis.
At the end of the day, Friedman explained the expanded testing is designed to help determine what kind of viruses are coming in and out of the U.S., and if they have the potential to be as dangerous as COVID.
"There are a lot of blind spots globally where there's limited testing and monitoring," she told CNN. "In general, our focus is on airports that are international hubs, and have flights coming in from a broad array of international locations."
So, if you're traveling this holiday season, consider spending a few extra minutes in the terminal and volunteering for a screening.
RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter .
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Flying Overseas? There's A LOT You Need To Know. Here's A Guide
Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at [email protected] with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here .
I live in the U.S. and am considering a trip to another country. What do I need to know about international air travel at this stage of pandemic?
First of all, you have plenty of company. International air travel is expected to surge this summer. Americans are thinking of European vacations again. "We've had people asking a lot about Europe," says Chicago-area travel adviser Kendra Thornton of Royal Travel & Tours. "Not necessarily booking but wanting to keep tabs on it."
In addition, residents of the U.S. with family members in other countries are eager for a reunion after pandemic-enforced separations. People may be traveling abroad for work as well.
They'll run into quite a range of travel restrictions and entry requirements.
NPR correspondent Jason Beaubien was surprised to see his face on a giant screen in an airport in Sierra Leone, where thermal scanners take the temperature of everyone in the crowd simultaneously. Airport personnel takes aside anyone who registers a fever for evaluation.
Travelers headed to Peru should pack a face shield. You have to wear it in crowded spaces such as an airport.
What's more, the protocols may change as new variants, such as the highly contagious Delta variant , spread and take hold in different countries.
So if you're itching to travel abroad or have already booked a trip, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some guidelines that might help you deal with the new rules of international flight:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says to get vaccinated before you go. Air travelers should be fully vaccinated regardless of the risk level in the country you're visiting, according to the health agency. There's still a lot of virus circulating.
Keep track of the ever-changing guidelines and restrictions for your destination. You can check specific travel requirements through the U.S. State Department website or your destination's Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health.
In addition, the CDC provides guidance on travel to other countries, which are ranked from "very high" risk of COVID-19 transmission to "low" (among them China, Iceland and Rwanda).
Avoid countries in the "very high" category unless it is essential travel. There are 60 countries on this list, ranging from Argentina to Yemen.
Some countries are closed to visitors but make exceptions. Belgium, Canada, the United Kingdom and Uruguay are a few examples. But some of these "no visitor" countries may make exceptions for the death or serious illness of a family member. If those are your circumstances, you may be able to visit. But the authorities might not/will not take your word for it. Expect to have to show proof of the reason for the visit, such as a death certificate or a doctor's note about a family member's illness. You can inquire about rules in your destination by contacting the American Embassy or Consulate there, or the country's embassy in the United States.
And changes occur almost daily in this matter, so it's good to keep an eye on the State Department's or the country's official website for updates.
Bring your vaccination card. Some countries want to see your vaccination card, so make sure your official CDC vaccination card is filled out with the date of your dose or doses (if you received a two-dose vaccine). It's a good idea to make a copy of the card or have a photo on your phone as backup, suggests Thornton, the travel adviser.
Lost your card? Reach out to your vaccination provider or contact your state health department's immunization information system .
You can also present the World Health Organization international certificate of vaccination, also known as a yellow card . You can ask your vaccine provider to add your COVID-19 vaccination info if you already have a card. Or if you need one, you can purchase it through the U.S. Government Bookstore , which tells NPR it has seen a 55% increase in sales in the last six months. Cards are on back order but should be available by the end of June. Or you can purchase one from the WHO, which means waiting at least a week for shipment from Switzerland.
What about vaccine apps? Vaccine apps that show your record could be accepted as well, but there's no guarantee that border control will accept these as proof, so bringing a paper record is a good idea.
Citizens of the European Union will soon have a Digital COVID Certificate system that provides a scannable QR code to verify vaccination status and coronavirus test results. This should smooth travel between member states but won't help a vaccinated tourist from outside the EU.
Airlines are trying to help their customers meet the vaccination and testing requirements of various countries by developing their own apps. The International Air Transport Association has rolled out its own IATA Travel Pass , which many major airlines around the world will use.
But officials say calling it a vaccine passport, as many people are, is a bit of a misnomer.
"It's more of a digital credential associated with your vaccination or testing profile," the IATA's Nick Careen says. "So the consumer can use that to help them through their passenger journey."
British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates are among the global airlines running trials of IATA's travel pass app, which is expected to go live soon.
Other airlines, including American, will be using an app called VeriFly.
American's Preston Peterson told NPR that "because the requirements for entry differ by almost every single country and, in some cases, by the region within a country," the app will give the customer "the peace of mind to know that they comply with those different regulations."
"A customer can submit their documentation, have it verified and then they receive a green check mark, or effectively, an OK to travel status, that we as the airline trust, the customer can trust and then they know they're ready to go," Peterson says, adding that the app will update in real time as entry requirements for various destinations change.
But even proof of vaccination may not be sufficient to ease your entry. Some countries don't care if you have a vaccine card, as they can be easily faked or forged, or a digital vaccine pass on an app. They'll still insist on a PCR test to determine if you're infected several days before flying into and out of their airports. Most countries are asking airline personnel to verify the test. A positive result means the trip is off. That's the case in Egypt, some European countries and Israel. And you can't leave Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, after arrival in the country without taking a coronavirus test; airport personnel usher everyone to the clinic tent right after baggage claim.
Even if you're vaccinated and tested negative for the coronavirus, you may have to quarantine. Samoa, for example, requires a minimum 21-day quarantine for all incoming passengers.
Keep up on testing requirements before your departure. They definitely change. Because of the high rate of cases, Namibia on June 1 changed its visitor entry rules from a simple self-test for the coronavirus to a typically more expensive laboratory test conducted before leaving your home country and not older than seven days before your arrival.
The State Department site dates its updates so you can see when a change was made, and it also provides links to specific country guidelines provided by U.S. consulates and embassies.
Check the latest requirements three days before your flight just to make sure. Some airports, such as Chicago's O'Hare International and Los Angeles International , offer on-site coronavirus tests, but these can be pricier options than you might find elsewhere. And airport testing sites might have limited hours, so check before you head to the airport.
Get alerted. It's a good idea to sign up for notices on international travel from the State Department, says Zane Kerby, president of the American Society of Travel Advisors. In Portugal, for example, increased cases of the COVID-19 variant known as Delta, identified as likely more transmissible and causing more severe disease, has put the country at a higher risk level.
Bring proof of health insurance. Even if you're a veteran traveler who knows that your insurance carrier covers you overseas, be sure to check on COVID-19 coverage before you leave. Some countries, such as Argentina, require that you have a notice from your health insurer that specifically mentions COVID-19 coverage as proof that you are covered for the virus. Cambodia requires all foreigners to purchase insurance from the government on arrival: $90 for 20 days of coverage. Also check to see if your policy covers medical evacuation insurance, or consider buying a separate policy if not. Travel specialists say it's a wise investment during a pandemic.
The CDC offers great background information on health insurance and foreign travel on its site . If you buy a supplemental plan, the State Department site recommends looking for one that will pay for care directly rather than reimburse you so out-of-pocket expenses are limited.
Brush up on testing requirements. All air passengers coming to the United States — residents who have traveled abroad and visitors as well — are required to have a negative coronavirus viral test no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before they will be allowed to board a flight to the United States.
That test can be either a so-called molecular test done at a laboratory that can detect specific genetic material from the virus and is the most precise test, or an antigen test — which can be done as a self-test — which detects proteins on the surface of the virus if you were infected.
Embassy and consular notes on the State Department's travel website offer detailed information on locations for a molecular test in each country if available. In some countries. the test is free. Or it could cost up to $200. Check the State Department travel site, which offers frequently updated, detailed testing requirements and resources for many countries.
Self-tests are a limited option. Right now, only two airlines are making self-tests easily available United and American – and you need to be able to perform the self-test while conducting a telehealth visit with a designated clinic. For more information, contact United or American if you will be returning home on either carrier or eMed.com , a telehealth company handling the testing to see if you qualify for the self-test, even if you're on another carrier.
Coronavirus FAQ: Should I Get My Antibodies Checked After I Get Vaccinated?
If you're not vaccinated, though, you may want to choose a lab test rather than the self-test for re-entry, "especially if you're returning from a country experiencing high rates of COVID-19," says Matthew Binnicker , vice chair of practice in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. That's because the lab test can be more accurate than the self-test, according to guidelines published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America .
Coronavirus FAQ: I Had COVID. Should I Get The Vaccine?
Don't forget your mask. While some jurisdictions around the world are beginning to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, the Transportation Security Administration in late April extended its mask requirement to Sept. 13 (and could extend it further) for U.S. airports and on board U.S. airlines. Many foreign carriers have the same rule.
Fran Kritz is a health policy reporter based in Washington, D.C., who has contributed to The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News. Find her on Twitter: @fkritz
- international air travel
- COVID testing