COVID-19 Information

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The information on this page was correct as of September 24, 2021 at 12:00 GMT.

Important: Although some international travel is allowed by the UK government to amber list countries from July 19, U.S. government travel restrictions remain in place for travel from the United Kingdom to the United States. Please read the Presidential Proclamation and read our FAQs to see if you are able to travel at this time.

All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel regardless of where they are traveling from. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

If you need to travel due to an extraordinary humanitarian emergency and you are unable to obtain a test, please see COVID-19 Testing Waivers below.

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.

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 the Presidential Proclamation and read our FAQs to see if you are able to travel 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. Please note you will still be required to quarantine as required by CDC and local guidelines even if you are an automatic exception to the current Presidential Proclamations or have received a national interest exception in order to travel directly to the United States. You will also be required to take a COVID-19 test as outlined at the top of this page.

U.S. citizens residing in the United Kingdom are subject to the UK government’s regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted under the rules.

UK COVID-19 Restrictions

The UK response to COVID-19 is updated frequently as the government monitors the situation.  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. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted under the rules. 

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home to the United States. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your final destination. Please consult directly with your airline and follow all UK government guidelines when making travel arrangements.

Face Coverings

From July 19, the requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted.  However, the UK Government continues to recommend that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as 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. (Travelers require two tests after arrival. See Quarantine Information below.)

Please see the requirements for your region:

If you are not a part of the NHS, you will need to seek a private clinic for testing. 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).

For testing at Heathrow, please visit the Heathrow Airport COVID-19 testing site. DO NOT travel to Heathrow Airport if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling unwell.

Some local laboratories are (this is not an exhaustive list of every facility performing COVID tests in the UK):

In Scotland, private testing is available at a number of facilities.

In Northern Ireland, please visit the Public Health website for more information on testing sites.

The inclusion of a specific company or organization does not constitute a recommendation, and the Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability, reputation, or quality of services provided by the companies or organizations whose names appear on such lists.

COVID-19 Testing Waivers for travel to U.S.

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?  Anyone registered with their local NHS doctor will be eligible 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.

Please see the UK government website for frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in the UK. The COVID-19 vaccination is only available through the NHS to eligible groups and it is a free vaccination. It is not available privately in the UK.

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
  • 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 country on the travel ban list unless you have residence rights in the UK. The United States is not currently on the travel ban list.

New arrivals will be required to provide UK officials with contact and travel information prior to arrival by completing the Public Health 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

U.S. citizens residing in the United Kingdom are subject to the UK government regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted under the rules.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return to your permanent residence in the United States. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your final destination. Please consult directly with your airline and follow all UK government guidelines when making travel arrangements.

Quarantine Information

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

Individuals arriving in the UK may need to self-isolate. As the rules are regularly being updated, please see the UK government’s website for the latest information.

If you have questions about quarantining on arrival you should see the UK government’s website. From October 4, new rules will go into place.  Please review the UK government’s website for the most up to date information.

For England

(Note that these rules apply to England only)

You will not be able to travel to England from a country on the travel ban list unless you have residence rights in the UK. The United States is not currently on the list.

From July 19, if you’re coming from a country not on the red travel list, and you are double vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you will not have to self-isolate.  However, you will still need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to three days before departure, evidence of your vaccination status, book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test, and complete a UK passenger locator form as described above.  

If you are not double vaccinated under a UK vaccination programme, you’ll need to self-isolate at home for 10 days and book COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine. Please see the UK government’s website for more information.    

For Northern Ireland

(Note that these rules apply to Northern Ireland only)

You will not be able to travel to Northern Ireland from a country on the travel ban list unless you have residence rights.  The United States is not currently on the list.

From July 19, if you’re coming from a country not on the red travel list, and you are double vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you will not have to self-isolate.  However, you will still need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to three days before departure, evidence of your vaccination status, book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test,and complete a UK passenger locator form as described above.  

If you are not double vaccinated under a UK vaccination programme, you’ll need to self-isolate at home for 10 days and book COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine. Please see Northern Ireland’s website for more information. 

For Scotland

(Note that these rules apply to Scotland only)

You will not be able to travel to Scotland from a country on the travel ban list. The United States is not currently on the list.

From July 19, if you’re coming from a country not on the red travel list, and you are double vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you will not have to self-isolate.  However, you will still need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to three days before departure, evidence of your vaccination status, book and pay for a day two COVID-19 PCR test,and complete a UK passenger locator form as described above.  

If you are not double vaccinated under a UK vaccination programme, you’ll need to self-isolate at home for 10 days and book COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine.  Please see Scotland’s website for more information. 

For Wales

(Note that these rules apply to Wales only)

You will not be able to travel to Wales from a country on the travel ban list. The United States is not currently on the list.

Persons arriving to Wales are required to enter via England and follow the guidelines for entry into England.

For the latest information, visit: Travel: coronavirus.

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 new 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. This can include transit stops.

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 England 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

Any travelers who pass through UK border control and leave the “airside” portion of the airport may be required to take a test even if they are only “transiting” the UK. Travelers should not pass through UK border control if they do not want to be required to take a COVID-19 test.

You may end self-isolation to go to your departure point (airport, train or bus station), if you are leaving within the 10-day quarantine time. You should travel straight to the departure point and avoid public transportation.

All transiting persons will still be required to fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form.

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 must wear a face covering on public transport unless exempt.

Commercial Flights Available from UK to USA

U.S. citizens in the UK who wish to return home to the United States should make commercial flight arrangements as they need to travel.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home to the United States. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your final destination. Please consult directly with your airline and follow all UK government guidelines when making travel arrangements.

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.

Please see above for COVID-19 testing requirements.

Services at Airports and Hotels

Onward tickets should be purchased prior to traveling to the UK as ticketing counters may not accept cash. Please see individual airport and hotel websites for further 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. Only those people who are flying will be allowed inside the terminal building.
  • PACK a suitable face covering, as this will be required at all times inside the airport.

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.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission provides information on its website that directly addresses COVID-19 related travel at  COVID-19 ruined my travel plans. Now what?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has mandated airlines to refund passengers in the event flights are canceled, significant schedule changes or made, or government restrictions prevent flying due to the coronavirus outbreak. More information is available at the U.S. Department of Transportation Refunds page.

For more information about rules and regulations about refunds for travel, we recommend you visit the below sites:

Fines for Non-Compliance

For England

For Northern Ireland

For Scotland

  • UK Border Force will carry out spot checks at the border and can impose a fine of £60 to those who refuse to provide passenger information. Those who fail to self-isolate can be fined £480. For complete details, visit the Scottish government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

For Wales

  • You may be denied UK entry or fined if you refuse to provide your contact details and £10,000 if you refuse to self-isolate, or you may face further action. For complete details on guidelines for Wales, visit: https://gov.wales/coronavirus

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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