The USA is a larger-than-life holiday destination, from the size of a standard burger and fries to the big open skies of the Great Plains. Marvelling at how one country can encompass the skyscraper-dotted metropolis of New York City, the birthplace of Hollywood and hip hop, and the alligator-populated swamps of the South, is just part of the reason that 2.58 million Brits travelled there in 2019. No wonder we’re keen to get back out there, after a year of almost completely closed borders.
Is the USA on the green list?
The USA didn’t make it on the UK’s initial green list, or the early June update. This is despite its successful vaccination rollout and speculation about the countries encouraging business travel. Instead, the USA has been marked amber.
Will I have to quarantine?
The UK government has set up a traffic light system, which rates countries based on risk alongside the restrictions required for travel. The Department for Transport has included the following key factors in its assessment:
- the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
- the rate of infection
- the prevalence of variants of concern
- the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
Arrivals to the UK from the USA have to self-isolate for 10 days at home – unless you have been fully vaccinated in the UK or under the UK vaccine programme overseas. If not, you must take a pre-departure Covid test and another test on days two and eight. You have the option to end self-isolation early on day five with ‘test to release’, by purchasing an extra PCR test.
Entering the USA is not possible for most British nationals at the moment. If you are eligible for travel to the USA (for example, if you are a US citizen or hold a diplomatic visa) you’ll have to quarantine for seven days on arrival, taking a Covid-19 test three to five days after you get there.
On June 10, it was announced that a new travel taskforce will explore the resumption of UK-UK travel. It will be overseen in the UK by transport secretary Grant Shapps and chaired by Department for Transport officials and their US counterparts.
How do I get there?
Many airlines link up the UK with the USA, although look out for changing restrictions and disruption at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can fly direct to the USA with American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Norwegian Air, United and Virgin Atlantic, plus many others.