USA entry requirements: Covid travel restrictions for UK visitors

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Strict Covid entry restrictions remain in place in the United States for vaccinated and unvaccinated British tourists

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier this year confirmed the easing of restrictions in the UK, meaning travelers will no longer face quarantine or testing requirements before returning from abroad, regardless of vaccination status.

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Fully vaccinated foreign citizens are allowed to enter the US (Photo: Adobe)

But what are the rules in the United States? These are the latest Covid travel restrictions you need to know.

What are the entry requirements for the USA?

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All travelers require a visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver to enter or transit the United States as a visitor. Travelers should check this outUS Department of State website to determine which ones you need.

Most fully vaccinated foreign citizens are eligible to enter the United States. US authorities will accept any Covid vaccine approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include the vaccines AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen, Covidshield, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.

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All passengers entering the United States by air, regardless of vaccination status, must present a negative test taken no more than one day prior to travel or proof of recovery from coronavirus

Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travelers are not required to quarantine, but are advised to have a virus test within three to five days.

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People who have recovered from Covid within the last 90 days, regardless of vaccination status, do not need to undergo a test three to five days after travel.

Children under the age of 17 are exempt from compulsory vaccinations but must be tested three to five days after arrival and should self-isolate if symptoms develop or they test positive. Children under the age of two do not have to take a pre-test.

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Only those with an exemption or US citizens, US nationals and lawful permanent residents of the US can enter the US unvaccinated.

If you have an exception, you must provide the airline with a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid within the last three months before boarding the flight.

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When traveling within the United States, individual states and territories may have their own quarantine requirements. For a full list of on-premises quarantine requirements, see CDC website.

The US will accept the UK’s NHS Covid Passport as proof of vaccination, or a printout of a Covid vaccination card or vaccination certificate issued at the national or sub-national level or by an authorized vaccine provider.

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The last vaccination dose must have been administered at least 14 days before departure.

What are the Covid rules in the US?

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Wearing face masks on planes, trains, buses and airports in the United States is mandatory.

Several US states no longer mandate the use of masks and face coverings in public, but guidelines will vary from state to state and there may be different rules within different localities within the same state.

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Travelers are advised to check the state or city website before visiting. For more details see the USA.GOV Side? site.

Some areas may also require proof of vaccination to access local facilities, and certain locations may not exempt children ages five to 17 from this requirement. Exact requirements may vary from venue to venue, so you should check ahead of time for compliance.

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Local regulations for shops, restaurants, bars, beaches and other leisure activities may follow measures to limit the spread of Covid, meaning proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test may be required for entry.

Before you travel, find out more on the website of the respective state government or visit the CDC website.

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