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USA travel advice

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, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin 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.

The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in the US Virgin Islands to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.

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 or China within the previous 14 days
  • If you are eligible to enter the USA you must be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days after arrival
  • If you are flying to the US from the UK on or after 28 December, you must test negative via PCR or Antigen test no more than 72 hours before your departure from the UK. You must provide your airline with written documentation of your lab test result. You should check the process with your airline before travelling.

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:

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.

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

There have been widespread protests across the USA since 27 May 2020, some of which have turned violent. Curfews have been enforced in many cities as a result. There is potential for further protests and curfews. You should follow the instructions of local authorities. If you do attend any peaceful protests, you should be mindful of your surroundings and move away if there are signs of trouble.

The Mayor of Washington DC has introduced an Emergency Order in the city, effective until 3pm local time on 21 January 2021, under which curfews and other emergency measures may be introduced in Washington DC at any time. President Trump has approved federal assistance to support Washington DC’s emergency declaration until 24 January 2021. If you are in Washington DC, you should follow the Mayor’s instructions. There is potential for further disorder during this period across the country, including in Washington DC and state capitols. You should follow the instructions of local authorities and stay away from any actual or potential disorder.

Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout the major airline 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.


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