Foreign travel advice

USA

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules with little warning.

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

Summary

This travel advice also covers American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and United States Virgin Islands

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • The whole of the US based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks. However, the FCDO is not advising against travel to the Northern Mariana Islands.

If you are arriving in the UK from USA, you will need to self-isolate. If you are arriving in the UK from the Northern Mariana Islands on or after 4am on 18 January you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Travel to USA is subject to entry restrictions

  • British nationals cannot enter the USA and its territories if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, China, or (as of 30 January 2021) South Africa within the previous 14 days
  • If you are flying to the US from any foreign country on or after 26 January 2021, you must have either a negative pre-departure test result (NAAT or antigen) or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 provided by a licensed health care provider or public health official. You should check the process with your airline before travelling.
  • If you are eligible to enter the USA, the CDC requires that you self-isolate for at least 7 days on arrival, and that you take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after your arrival.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to USA, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the USA every year. Most visits are trouble free.

Protests are commonplace across the USA, some of which can become violent. If you do attend any peaceful protests, you should be mindful of your surroundings, move away if there are signs of trouble, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Snow storms during winter can disrupt critical infrastructure, including causing power cuts as well as delays and cancellations throughout the major transport hubs in the USA. See Snow storms

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should monitor media reports and remain vigilant at all times. See Terrorism

You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime. See Crime

The Atlantic hurricane season normally runs from 1 June to 30 November. The Pacific hurricane season runs from 15 May to 30 November. See Hurricanes

Forest and brush fires (wildfires) are a danger in many dry areas. See Wildfires

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.