The latest USA travel advice - and quarantine rules in place for tourists

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 4:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 4:35 pm
Travel to the US remains restricted during the coronavirus pandemic (Getty Images)
Travel to the US remains restricted during the coronavirus pandemic (Getty Images)

Millions of UK travellers have been forced to put their travel plans on hold for the year, as the world continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Outside of Europe, the United States is the UK’s most popular travel destination with over three million visits made to the country every year. 

While travel to the rest of Europe is opening up, trips to the US remain difficult. The country continues to record tens of thousands of positive cases every day. 

Here’s what you need to know about travelling to the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

FCO advice on travel to the United States

Strict restrictions on travel to the United States are currently in place.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to the United States. The FCO notes that British nationals cannot enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil or China within the previous 14 days.

There remain commercial options to return to the UK from the USA, but UK nationals holding a US visa may be denied re-entry to the US if they return while the travel restrictions are in place.

Many airports in the USA have implemented safety measures designed to limit the spread of Covid-19. You should check the website of the airport you are flying into or transiting to see how these could affect you.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory Wednesday 24 June that requires people arriving from US states with significant community spread of Covid-19 to quarantine for 14 days.

Quarantine guidance

A two week long quarantine period for anyone arriving back in the UK (including UK nationals) has been in place since 8 June.

The UK published a list of countries exempt from quarantining rules earlier this month, where there is "a reduced risk" from coronavirus, but the United States is not included.

Under current rules, international travellers could face spot checks and £1,000 fines if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK.

United States cases

Coronavirus diagnoses in the United States continue to climb at a steep rate and, as of 27 July, 4.3 million cases of coronavirus have been recorded. 

Over 150,000 US residents who tested positive for coronavirus have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

Popular tourist destinations Florida, California, Texas and New York are among the worst hit areas.