USA entry requirements: US scraps Covid vaccine travel rules in major boost for UK holidaymakers

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Strict Covid entry restrictions have been in place in the United States since the start of the pandemic

Holidaymakers travelling to the US from the UK no longer have to show proof of Covid vaccination on entry following a major rule change.

The White House confirmed the strict entry requirement would be scrapped “at the end of the day” on 11 May, coinciding with the end of the Covid public health emergency in the country.

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Covid vaccine rules will also be lifted for federal employees and contractors, and will apply to non US travellers entering the US via land ports of entry and ferries.

Holidaymakers travelling to the US from the UK no longer have to show proof of Covid vaccination on entry (Photo: Getty Images)Holidaymakers travelling to the US from the UK no longer have to show proof of Covid vaccination on entry (Photo: Getty Images)
Holidaymakers travelling to the US from the UK no longer have to show proof of Covid vaccination on entry (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The UK Foreign Office said: “As of 12 May 2023, there are no Covid-19vaccination requirements for travel to the United States. A pre-departure Covid-19 test is also not required.”

It comes after the US House of Representatives voted to lift the rule that required most foreign air travellers to be vaccinated against Covid. But in a statement last week, the White House said the US is “now in a different phase” of its pandemic response and that these measures “are no longer necessary” following the decline of Covid-related deaths and hospitalisations.

It said: “Since January 2021, Covid-19 deaths have declined by 95%, and hospitalizations are down nearly 91%. Globally, Covid-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.

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“Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to Covid-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place.”

It follows moves last year to drop the requirement for people arriving in the US by air to show proof of a negative Covid test, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) kept vaccination requirements for most foreign travellers.

The move to scrap Covid entry requirements in the US means there will be consistency on both sides of the Canada-US border, with Canada previously ending all of its Covid travel restrictions for international air travellers in October last year.

Representative Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo and Niagara Falls in New York State, said it is good news for Canadians crossing into the US.

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He said in a statement: “While long overdue, this last lifting of pandemic restrictions is certainly welcome news and critically important as we seek opportunities to encourage a robust cross-border exchange that delivers shared prosperity.”

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