The Full UK To US Travel Guide - Including All Forms And Testing Requirements
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Starting 8th November 2021, the US finally reopened their borders to us following a 20-month travel ban. We can now visit our favourite place - the Walt Disney World Resort - once again. Travelling internationally has changed, with extra procedures, paperwork, testing, and costs. This article will walk you through what's required to travel to the US (from a British perspective) following the reopening of the borders, as well as examples of some of the new costs involved.
This might seem super overwhelming and complicated, but stick with it, once you get a picture in your mind of what's required, it's a breeze. Here we go.
ESTA's are still required for travel to the US. They cost $21 each and lasts two years. They must be completed through the official ESTA website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Please try and avoid third-party companies who try to charge your hundreds of pounds to complete them for you.
COVID-19 vaccination requirement
All travellers aged 18 and over need to be fully vaccinated per CDC guidelines. "Fully vaccinated" means:
2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna
2 doses of AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm, or Sinovac
You do not qualify as "fully vaccinated" unless 14 days have passed from your second dose. You will be required to show your NHS app QR code when departing the UK and arriving in the US to prove your vaccination status. The CDC do not require you to have had your booster dose.
The CDC requires unvaccinated travellers - including unvaccinated children between 2 and 17 - to take a COVID-19 LFT/antigen test between 3 and 5 days after arriving in the US. Remember, a child is not "fully vaccinated" unless they've had two doses of a vaccine as outlined at the start of this article. These tests can be done and/or purchased at local pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, etc. Most are just a short drive or taxi from Walt Disney World. The CDC has a search to find nearby testing centers. Or, you could order the"Lateral Flow Antigen Test Kit" for £19 each and take them with you. You can then take the test upload it, and get your negative certificate. This test does not have to be observed, and you do not need to declare it anywhere. However, you have to swear in your attestation form that if travelling with unvaccinated children (as outlined above) they did take one of these tests 3-5 days after arriving.
As well as an ESTA, an attestation form is required by all adults. This is essentially a legal declaration that includes things like declaring you are genuinely vaccinated, etc. Willingly providing false or misleading information may lead to fines and other criminal penalties. Your airline will provide this to you before you're due to fly.
Passenger locator form
Starting March 18th 2022, returning British citizens are no longer required to fill out the passenger locator form.
Complete your ESTA's ($21 each)
Make sure you have your vaccination proof - the NHS travel QR code is what's needed
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