Rules for travelling to the USA from the UK explained: What tests do I need?

Travellers can take a PCR or Antigen test, but the test must be supervised. In-person tests are permitted, while those using at-home self tests must book through a company that offers video consultation appointments, during which a nurse will guide you through taking the test and wait on the line for 15 minutes to confirm a negative result. Travellers will receive a travel certificate with their results, and are required to print a paper copy to present at the airport. They are also recommended to take a lateral flow test within three to five days of arrival in the US.

Those flying with a handful of airlines including British Airways, Aer Lingus and American Airlines can download the VeriFLY app, which prompts travellers to enter details of their tests, vaccines and other documentation. The app verifies that each document meets requirements to streamline the check-in process at the airport.

Those recently recovered may provide ‘proof of recovery’ documents instead of a test.

West Village in New YorkGetty Images

Does the USA accept the AstraZeneca vaccine for travel?

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer, Moderna and  Johnson & Johnson vaccines and did not approve the AstraZeneca jab for use in the USA, those from other countries who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are allowed to travel to the USA.

Is the USA still in lockdown?

No, most restrictions were lifted at the end of July 2021 and international travellers are welcome again. In New York, the original epicentre of the USA’s Covid outbreak, most of the city is open and buzzing. Proof of vaccination, including for children, is required to visit galleries, museums, theatres, attractions and to sit inside in restaurant and bars, so it’s best to read up on the rules closely before booking your trip or arrival. Be certain to carry ID as well – those checking vaccine passes will need to confirm your name. 






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