US testing rules overhauled: Everything Brits need to know before flying to America

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Britons have been permitted to fly to the US since November 2021, when the nation lifted the coronavirus travel ban for UK tourists, though strict testing and vaccine rules remained in place. However, since Sunday, the requirement for evidence of a negative Covid test or recovery confirmation has been scrapped.

On June 10, 2022, a statement issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explained the US Government had “rescinded the Order titled ‘Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving in the United States from any Foreign Country.’

The CDC said: “This rescission takes effect for flights departing to the United States from a foreign country at or after 12:01am ET (4:01am GMT) on June 12, 2022, and will be published in the Federal Register.

“This means that as of 12:01AM ET (4:01am GMT) on June 12, 2022, all air passengers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, are no longer required to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19, before boarding a flight to the United States.”

Up until now, fully vaccinated visitors have been required to show a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result taken no more than one day before travel in order to board their flight to the nation.

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However, you must still be vaccinated to enter the US.

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO): “Only those with an exception or US Citizens, US Nationals, and US Lawful Permanent Residents will be able to enter the US unvaccinated.”

UK travellers can use their NHS Covid Pass to prove their vaccine status.

This rule does not apply, however, to children aged 17 and under.

Unlike countries such as Spain, the US is not yet requiring people to show evidence of having received a booster vaccine.

There is currently no expiry date set on the first course of vaccination.

But, visitors must have received their first Covid vaccine 14 days or more prior to their arrival in America.

At the time of writing, according to the FCDO, all air passengers to the USA are also required to provide contact information to their airlines before boarding.

According to the FCDO: “Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travellers do not have to quarantine and are recommended to take a viral test within three to five days of arrival in the US.”

The viral test is not a legal requirement, however.


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