Travel restrictions

Here are the new travel restrictions for Americans traveling to the UK – Forbes Advisor

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Countries frequently update travel guidelines as the level of spread of Covid-19 fluctuates, which means you should be sure to check current travel restrictions as close to your departure as possible. American travelers are currently allowed to travel to the UK, regardless of their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to take a test before travelling. However, unvaccinated travelers aged 18 and over must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test. The testing requirements extend to unvaccinated children aged 12 to 17 who have been in a Red List country in the 10 days before arriving in the UK.

Keep in mind, however, that the UK is currently classified as a very high level 4 travel risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that travel to the UK should be avoided and all passengers who need to travel to the UK should be vaccinated. The CDC’s travel risk rating is based on metrics, including cumulative new cases, test rates and test-to-case ratios, and data from the World Health Organization and other official sources.

Related: Best home Covid tests

Requirements to enter the UK from the US

US citizens traveling to the UK are allowed to enter the country as long as they have not been to a red list country within 10 days of arriving in the UK. That said, the UK government removed all countries from the travel red list on December 15, 2021. No countries have been added since that date.

Entering the UK fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated passengers and those under 18 will not be required to take a PCR test before traveling to England, unless they have recently visited a Red List country; self-isolation will also not be necessary. Since February 11, no post-arrival testing is required either as long as you have proof of full vaccination.

Requirements may vary for North Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Entering the UK without being vaccinated

If you are entering the UK unvaccinated, you must do the following before travelling:

  • Take a Covid-19 test within two days of traveling to the UK.
  • Pre-book and pay for a PCR test to be administered at any time during the first two days after arriving in the UK. You do not need to self-quarantine between arrival and receipt of test results.
  • Fill out a passenger locator form 48 hours before your arrival.

If your test result is positive or uncertain, you have to follow public health advice. Current advice recommends staying isolated and avoiding contact with other people.

Related: When should I use a Covid home test?

Requirements to enter the United States from the United Kingdom

All travelers (aged 2+) traveling to the US from the UK will be required to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within a day of departure.

Unlike previous requirements, which allowed a longer schedule for vaccinated travellers, this new requirement will treat all passengers equally, regardless of their vaccination status. As is currently the case, a PCR or antigen test will always be accepted as proof of being negative for Covid-19.

It is important to note that the test requirements include taking it within one calendar day and are not limited to 24 hours after your departure. This means that passengers will be able to take their test at any time during the day before their flight, regardless of when their flight departs.

There are no new quarantine restrictions at this time.

For more information on requirements for travelers returning to the United States, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.