US travel restrictions: Which vaccines and tests are accepted by US government

Almost four million British nationals visit the United States each year, but as the global Covid-19 pandemic brought international travel to a standstill, British vacationers were banned from visiting for 18 months.

US citizens have been able to travel to the UK since July.

But on November 8, US President Joe Bien gave the green light to resume travel to the States.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hailed the lifting of restrictions as a “significant moment” adding that transatlantic flights are “at the heart of UK aviation”.

It’s not just British travelers that the US has eased restrictions on. Tourists from the Schengen countries (26 different European nations), Iran, South Africa, Ireland, China, India and Brazil can now enter the USA.

This means that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will resume their flights over the transatlantic corridor, a route that is making up most of their profits.

BA owner IAG expects a loss of 7.3 billion euros in 2020 and 2021, while Virgin Atlantic was on the verge of collapse before the news broke.

However, the easing of measures does not mean a seamless return trip across the Atlantic.

What are the US travel vaccination regulations?

To enter the US from the UK, you must be double-vaccinated with a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved vaccine, provide proof of vaccination, and take a pre-flight Covid-19 test.

When entering the United States, you must present a vaccination card. This can be done through the NHS Covid app or an NHS letter.

Which Covid vaccines does the US accept?

In addition, the vaccination you receive must be on the FDA and World Health Organization approved list. These are:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Modern
  • AstraZeneca,
  • Covaxin
  • Covischild
  • BIBP / Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • Johnson & Johnson

Children under the age of 18 are exempt from vaccination.

Do I need a Covid test to fly to the USA?

Both children and adults have to take a Covid-19 test before departure at least three days before your flight and receive a negative result.

This test must be a “viral” test and a PCR test is recommended.

These measures are on top of the regular entry requirements, so you still have to hold the correct VISA.

The US Embassy also ‘recommended’ travelers to get a virus test within 3 to 5 days of arriving in the US.

Do I have to take a Covid test in the UK if I fly from the US?

To re-enter the UK from the US, you must book and pay for a Covid-19 lateral flow or PCR test within two days of your arrival in the UK.

You must also complete a passenger search form within 48 hours prior to arrival.


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