After the news was announced on September 20th that the US would be opening to UK travellers, and subsequently updated on October 25th detailing this open on November 8th, we have looked forward to further updates on the specifics of travel to the US after 12:01 am November 8th.
November 8th is almost upon us, and so many travellers are incredibly excited for that first flight out and the opportunity to finally visit family and friends, or just take a great holiday. However, there are a few intricacies of future travel to the US to keep in mind as you are preparing to take off.
We always recommend keeping up to date and booking with a trusted travel agent and PTS member so your agent can be there to keep you informed and help you find a great holiday that works for you. Working with a travel professional means they can keep you up to date on any information relevant to your holiday and take the stress off your shoulders.
As you’re preparing for your holiday, here is a guide on all you need to know about travel to the US following November 8th and some small details you’ll want to keep in mind when you book.
What Are the Vaccination Rules for Travel to the US?
With the new travel rules for the US on November 8th, there are only a few exceptions to the vaccination requirement. All other adult travellers must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine programme approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The approved vaccines are as follows:
- Oxford AstraZeneca (the US has confirmed this includes all varieties, no matter where they were produced)
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
Travellers are allowed to mix vaccines, as long as this is approved for the types they mixed and they must be taken at least 17 days apart. The final dose of the vaccine a traveller takes must have been administered at least 14 days before travel.
All vaccinated travellers can enter without quarantine restrictions, as long as they can provide proof of vaccination. For UK travellers this will most likely come in the form of the NHS Covid pass letter. Confirmation of approval for digital methods is yet to be released. This proof will be provided at the airport for checking.
What If I Am Unvaccinated?
Most unvaccinated adult travellers will not be allowed entry to the US after November 8th. There are some exceptions to this rule.
- Air and sea crew
- People with diplomatic, UN, or armed forces accreditation
- Arrivals from countries with limited vaccination programmes (the UK is not included on this list)
- People with medical reasons not to get vaccinated
- People who have participated in certain approved clinical trials for Covid vaccinations (travellers will need to provide proof of this in the form of official documentation, such as a clinical trial letter or participation card to prove you had the full sequence of vaccines and not a placebo).
- People with test evidence of having recovered from Covid within 90 days before travel.
If you are allowed entry to the US for any of these reasons, then you must take a pre-departure test within 24 hours of departure, as opposed to the 72 hours that vaccinated travellers must take a test in. All pre-departure tests, lateral flow or PCR, must be monitored by a healthcare professional or, if you book online, via a video link by the test provider. You also need to take a second, viral test (lateral flow) between days 3 and 5 of arrival in the US.
Unvaccinated travellers will also be required to quarantine at home, or in alternative accommodation for a week, regardless of test results between days 3 and 5.
Can Children Travel to the US?
Under-18s travelling to the US do not need to be vaccinated as long as they are with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. They will follow the same rules as a vaccinated adult for the most part, though they do not need to provide proof of vaccination, of course. The parent or guardian they are accompanying will need to fill out the relevant information in an attestation form.
The child in question (aged between 2 and 17) will need to take a second viral test (lateral flow) in the US 3-5 days after arrival unless they can prove recovery from Covid within the 90 days before travel. However, it is important to note that the NHS is currently not supplying proof of recovery to anyone under the age of 16.
It is also important to check the specific requirements within each US state as children over the age of 12 may face some difficulties getting into certain restaurants or areas based on local laws. We highly recommend you always keep an eye on the Foreign Travel Advice page for country restrictions, but you will need to check state-specific restrictions on local government websites, tourism boards, or with your travel agent.
What Are the Testing Rules for Travel to the US?
The testing rules for travel to the US after November 8th are fairly simple to follow, as such:
- All vaccinated travellers 2-years-old and above must provide proof of a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of departure.
- Alternatively, travellers can provide proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the past 90 days instead of proof of a negative test.
- Travellers aged between 2 and 17, and unvaccinated travellers, must take a second, viral test (lateral flow) between days 3 and 5 of arrival in the US.
- All unvaccinated travellers who have been given the approval to enter the US (for the reasons stated above) must provide proof of a negative covid test taken within 24 hours of departure.
All pre-departure tests, lateral flow or PCR, must be monitored by a healthcare professional or, if you book online, via a video link by the test provider.
Do I Need a Passenger Locator Form?
A lot of destinations in 2021 require a passenger locator form to be completed, this works a little differently in the US. The US has a Contract Tracing Order set that requires all airlines flying into the US to collect some information from all passengers for the sake of Covid tracking. This is the same purpose as a Passenger Locator Form.
They won’t require a lot of information, but expect the airline to ask some questions to collect the following information:
- Full name, date of birth, email address, address while in the US, primary contact phone number, secondary or emergency contact phone number.
- Airline name, flight number, cities of departure and arrival, time and date of departure and arrival, seat number.
It is also important to note that you will still need a valid visa or Esta in order to enter the US, as you would have pre-covid, so be sure to check your visa and passport are valid for entry before you depart.
So, if you’re looking forward to booking your next great holiday to travel to the US after November 8th, don’t forget to get in contact with a travel business registered with PTS and offering 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to find out more about your consumer protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages.