COVID-19 Information

The information on this page was correct as of December 3, 2021 at 12:00 GMT.

Starting December 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination or citizenship status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.  Non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers will still be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status.  Until December 6, the rules below apply.

*** Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one (1) day before their flight.

U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight.

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption. Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

*** Effective November 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced it will change its Travel Advisory for South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.  New air travel restrictions from these eight countries that will apply.  Any travelers who have been in one of these countries in the 14 days prior to their attempted entry into the United States should check the U.S. Embassy website from the country they visited for more information on requirements. 

In addition, the order also requires a passenger attestation stating they have received a negative Qualifying Test result (this is not in place of a test). The Attestation may be found at the CDC website “Passenger Attestation Form” (PDF).

Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. Please see the CDC’s website for information on what you need to travel to the United States. 

If you or your child’s U.S. passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to travel to the U.S. using the expired U.S. passport. Please check our website to see if you or your child qualifies before booking travel.

Country-Specific Information

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the United Kingdom: Do Not Travel due to Covid-19.  Exercise increased caution due to terrorism.

The CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the United Kingdom due to Covid-19. 

For the latest information and advice for travel to the United Kingdom with regards to COVID-19, please visit the U.K. Government’s webpage on Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice.

Travel from the United Kingdom to the United States

Travel restrictions remain in place for travel from the United Kingdom to the United States.  Please read our FAQs to see the requirements for travel to or transit through the United States at this time.

If you are planning on traveling to the United States, it is important that you check quarantine regulations for the state you are visiting before you depart. You can find the most-up to date information on the CDC website and your state’s health department website

U.S. citizens residing in the United Kingdom are subject to the UK government’s regulations

UK COVID-19 Restrictions

The UK response to COVID-19 is updated frequently as the government monitors the situation.  Each country’s guidelines within in the UK may vary slightly. For the latest information, please go to the below websites.

U.S. citizens residing in the United Kingdom are subject to the UK government’s regulations. 

Face Coverings

From November 30, face masks are required in shops and on public transport.  Local rules may vary. For complete details, visit: Face coverings: when to wear one and exemptions.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the United Kingdom? Yes
  • Are test results reliably available within 72 hours*? Yes.

*For additional fees, test results may be available within 24 hours.

Please see the requirements for your region:

If you require a test for international travel, you will need to obtain a test from a private clinic and not from the links above on the NHS.  Testing may cost anywhere from £40 – £500 depending on where you are tested and the type of test you take. COVID-19 tests differ in the amount of time they take to get results (from 45 minutes to 48 hours).  Please see our COVID-19 testing providers page for a list of potential test providers. Ensure the testing center knows your test is for travel overseas (i.e. to the United States).

COVID-19 Waivers for travel to U.S.

COVID-19 Vaccination Waivers

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country.  Some categories of noncitizen, nonimmigrants are excepted from this requirement. If you meet the criteria for one of these categories, you will need to fulfill additional requirements to travel by air to the United States.  For information on exceptions please see the CDC’s website and scroll down to the heading “Exceptions.”

The CDC may grant a humanitarian or emergency exception in limited circumstances only when an individual must travel to the United States to preserve health and safety (e.g., emergency medical evacuations) and is unable to become fully vaccinated before travel. Individuals who fit the exception criteria described in the Presidential Proclamationexternal icon and CDC’s Order may contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in or nearest the country from which they are departing for the United States. The embassy will then transmit this information to the CDC for consideration.external icon

To facilitate the review of a humanitarian or emergency exception request, the following information should be provided by email to Embassy London for each passenger traveling from the UK for transmission to the CDC:

  • Name (family name/surname, given name)
  • Passport #
  • Nationality
  • Cell phone number (including country code) of passenger or head of household if family unit
  • Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  • US destination address
    • Is US destination home address?
  • Flight itinerary, including any connecting flights
    • Airline
    • Flight #
    • Departure airport and date of departure
    • Arrival airport and date of arrival
  • Vaccination Status
    • Fully Vaccinated
      • Name of vaccine product (or products if a combination)
      • Date of first dose
      • Date of second dose (if a two-dose series)
      • PDF or photograph of vaccination record
    • NOT Fully Vaccinated
  • Purpose of travel to the US and a brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed
  • Justification for humanitarian or emergency exception to providing proof of being fully vaccinated (e.g., vaccine availability, passenger ineligible for vaccine at location, insufficient time to become fully vaccinated)
  • Documentation to support justification (e.g., medical records, orders for emergency evacuation)
  • Information regarding any other solutions that were sought prior to application (e.g., flight changes, testing en route, assistance in obtaining testing/vaccination, etc.)
COVID-19 Test Waivers

Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy London and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.

The following information must be provided by email for each passenger:

  1. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
  2. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
  3. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  4. U.S. destination address
  5. Is U.S. destination home address?
  6. Departure date
  7. Flight itinerary
  8. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
  9. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  10. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  11. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  12. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
  13. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
  14. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

  • Has the government of the United Kingdom approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in the United Kingdom for U.S. citizens to receive?  Any person in the United Kingdom, regardless of status, is able to receive the vaccine if they are part of an eligible group.
  • Which vaccines are available in the United Kingdom? Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna

The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow the United Kingdom’s developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

If you qualify for NHS treatment, please see here for more information including links to vaccination procedures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Click here for information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes, if not traveling from a ‘red-list’ country.  Please see the UK government website for more information
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes if you are not fully vaccinated. Prior to traveling to the UK, all travelers will need to purchase PCR tests to take after arriving in the UK.  The number of tests will depend on your vaccination status.  Please see the UK government website for more information
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes

Please see UK Visa and Immigration’s website for information on visa extensions for residents and tourists.

You will not be able to travel to the United Kingdom from a red list country on the travel ban list unless you have residence rights in the UK. The United States is not currently on the red list.  If you are traveling from a red list country, please be aware that the rules may vary from the requirements if traveling from a country that is not on the red list so you should review the UK government’s website specifically for red list countries before traveling.

All new arrivals will be required to provide UK officials with contact and travel information prior to arrival by completing the Passenger Locator Form. This form must be completed by each member of your traveling party. You may not submit the form until 48 hours before your arrival in the UK.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes

From November 30, individuals arriving in the UK from abroad must self-isolate until they receive a negative result from their pre-booked PCR test. As the rules are regularly being updated, please see the UK government’s website for the latest information. Please select the country you are traveling to (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) for guidance specific to that country.

However, individuals contacted by the NHS Track and Trace system at any time during their stay in the UK will need to follow NHS self-isolation rules.  This includes U.S. citizens.  Please see the NHS’s website for self-isolating rules when you are contacted by Test and Trace or if you test positive for COVID-19 while in the United Kingdom.

For Transiting Travelers

Persons transiting (or who have a layover in) the UK and are in the UK for less than 24 hours are not required to take a COVID-19 test to meet the U.S. testing requirement.

When you arrive in the UK, you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. Please see the UK government’s website for information on requirements for each country. There are different rules for travel requirements to enter the UK when you are transiting.  The requirements vary for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so please review the UK government’s website for transiting travelers and select the country through which you are transiting.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

The rules of a country or territory that you make a transit stop in could apply if:

  • new passengers get on and are able to mix with you
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

Making a transit stop would not affect what you have to do on arrival in the United Kingdom if, during the stop:

  • no new passengers, who are able to mix with you, get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

You may end self-isolation early to go to your departure point (airport, train or bus station), if you are leaving within any quarantine period unless you have or have symptoms of COVID-19. You should travel straight to the departure point and avoid public transportation.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes

For information on how to stay safe on public transportation in the UK, please see the UK government guidance. You are required to wear a face covering on public transport unless exempt.

Commercial Flights Available from UK to USA

Commercial flights continue to be available from multiple UK airports connecting to London Heathrow for direct flights to the United States. Trains from Scotland to London are also available. Please check the airport and rail websites for the latest information.

At the Airport(s)

  • DO NOT travel if you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, persistent cough, loss of taste or smell).
  • CHECK the status of your flight with your airline as some schedules are still subject to change.
  • ONLY TRAVEL to the airport if you have a flight booked.
  • PACK a suitable face covering, as this will be required at all times inside the airport and on all public transportation.

If symptomatic at an airport

  • If a traveler is denied boarding because of potential COVID-19 symptoms, they might be directed to an airport self-isolation room while the traveler arranges their own transport to quarantine accommodations.
  • Travelers exhibiting symptoms are required to find a location for self-isolation and quarantine.

See individual airport websites for the latest information:

If Travel Plans Have Been Cancelled

The Embassy is unable to assist with obtaining refunds for travel that has been cancelled. We recommend you contact the company or website from which you purchased your tickets or with whom you have reservations. You may also wish to contact your credit card company for their assistance.

Fines for Non-Compliance

Fines for non-compliance with UK COVID-19 regulations differ depending on which country you are in. People who do not pay a fine could be taken to court, where they could be fined an unlimited amount. For information on fines in the United Kingdom please see Coronavirus (COVID-19): police powers.

Consular Operations

U.S. Citizen Services

If you or your child’s U.S. passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to travel to the U.S. using the expired U.S. passport. Please check our website to see if you or your child qualifies before booking travel.

The U.S. Embassy in London has resumed some passport and citizenship services. Please see our website for more information.

Visa Services

We will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow. Visa appointments remain limited. Due to the impact of COVID-19, visa services and travel restrictions may change rapidly so please check this website regularly. Please see our U.S. Visa and Travel FAQs for the most up to date information.

Local Resources

For the latest information with regards to COVID-19, please visit the UK government’s webpage on Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice.

To find out more on what you can and can’t in the UK, please visit the UK government’s webpage on Coronavirus outbreak FAQs:  what you can and can’t do.

View U.S. Embassy London’s Most Recent Alerts.

U.S. Centers For Disease Control Resources

Other Links

Security Updates

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens to enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and health updates. Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.

Embassy Assistance for U.S. Citizens in Distress

U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom
33 Nine Elms Lane  London, UK SW11 8DG
+44 (0) 207-499-9000
from U.S.: 011 44 (0)20 7499-9000
SCSLondon@state.gov or our website at uk.usembassy.gov.

U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh
+44 (0) 131 556-8315
Edinburgh-info@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General Belfast 
+44 (0) 28 9038-6100
acsbelfast@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
United Kingdom Country Information page.

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