The information on this page was correct as of April 06, 2020 at 15:30 BST.
U.S. State Department – Global Health Advisory – Do Not Travel
(added Friday, March 20 at 09:00 GMT)
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
Health Alert from the U.S. Embassy London, UK
added March 18, 2020 at 09:30 GMT Effective March 18, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in London and Consulates General in Edinburgh and Belfast have suspended routine consular services.
Visa Appointments Update
As of March 17, 2020, the United States Embassy in London is cancelling routine nonimmigrant visa appointments and reducing immigrant visa appointments, and no visa appointments will take place at the Consulate in Belfast. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.
If you have scheduled a visa interview appointment, the Visa Appointment Service will contact you if your appointment is being postponed. The MRV fee is valid and may be used for a visa application in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.
As of midnight on March 23, 2020 the following restrictions have been announced by the Government of the United Kingdom in an effort to halt the growth of the coronavirus. The restrictions are in place for three weeks and then will be re-examined by the Government. All Mission UK personnel are expected to comply with the restrictions.
People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
- any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
To ensure compliance with the Government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately:
- close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
- we will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with;
- and we’ll stop all social events , including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.
Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.
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.
U.S. government personnel are being advised to telework, whenever possible. In accordance with guidance from local authorities, staff reporting to the U.S. Embassy are strongly advised to avoid non-essential travel on public transportation (for the latest information, please go to Transport for London and the Department of Transport websites).
The U.S. Mission to the United Kingdom has suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website and our Information for American Citizens page for important information.
If your UK visa or leave to remain is due to expire, you can visit the UK government’s website for guidance.
Entry and Exit Requirements
UK Officials are carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from these areas. Passengers will be told how to report any symptoms they develop during the flight, at the time of arrival, or after leaving the airport. For the most current advice from the UK government please visit UK Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID19 UK Travel Information
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.
(UPDATED) On Arrival – At London Heathrow Airport
Terminals: As of Monday, April 6, Heathrow is moving to single runway operations. Airline operations over the coming weeks will temporarily move from Terminals 3 and 4 into Terminals 2 and 5. All passengers should double-check their arrival and departure terminals, as they may change. British Airways have temporarily moved all of their flights from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5.
Screening: There are currently no temperature checks at UK airports for arriving flights. Heathrow has created of a dedicated, isolated, terminal pier area to be used by Public Health England (PHE) medical professionals while liaising with suspected cases.
Airport Transit: Many local travel partners continue to operate services to and from Heathrow. See transport operator contact details. All National Express coach services are suspended. This includes services between Heathrow and Gatwick.
More information: www.heathrow.com/coronavirus
On Arrival – At London Gatwick Airport
Terminals: From 1 April 2020, the airport is temporarily closing the North Terminal and remaining flights will arrive and depart from the South Terminal, although many flights are now being cancelled.
Screening: There are currently no temperature checks at UK airports for arriving flights, so you should not expect to see them when you land.
Airport Transit: Hotel shuttle bus operator, NSL, is operating a severely reduced service following the latest Government advice to avoid all but essential travel. National Express coach service is suspended from 23:59 on Sunday 5 April. See the National Express live updates webpage. While Southern Rail and Thameslink are still running to and from Gatwick Airport, the Gatwick Express service between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport has been suspended.
More Information: www.gatwickairport.com/
On Arrival – At London Luton Airport
Terminals: London Luton Airport’s terminal remains open, with a limited number of flights operating.
Screening: There are enhanced monitoring procedures for flights arriving from affected countries and displays with the latest public health information across the terminal. There are no temperature checks.
Airport Transit: National Express has temporarily suspended all services to and from the airport. All other operators, including rail, are operating significantly reduced services.
More information: www.london-luton.co.uk
On Arrival – At London Stansted Airport
Terminals: Stansted’s terminal is open for business for those with essential travel, but most flights are subject to change and cancellation.
Screening: Enhanced monitoring procedures for flights are in place along with information leaflets and posters. There are no temperature checks.
Airport Transit: Travelers are advised not to travel on public transport unless the journey is absolutely essential.
More information www.stanstedairport.com/
On Arrival – At London City Airport
Terminals: City airport’s terminal is closed and all commercial and private flights from the airport are temporarily suspended through the end of April.
More information: www.londoncityairport.com/
(NEW) Food Services at Airports
Please note that food services and options at airports and hotels remain extremely limited. Some airports are not operating any stores or food services at all. Others may have only a pharmacy open for emergencies. Travelers should plan to travel with enough food to sustain them for the duration of their transit in the UK.
National Express Coach: National Express coach service is suspended from 23:59 on Sunday 5 April https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/live-service-updates
National Rail Service: Around half the usual number of trains are now running compared to a normal weekday. Early morning and late evening services are being protected wherever possible. More information at www.nationalrail.co.uk
Transport for London (TfL): London public transit has been significantly reduced with a number of stations closed. Visit TFL Status Updates to check the status of individual stations.
Car and Rideshare Services: The following companies are still operating and may be able to provide airport transfer service.
Most hotels in the UK have closed until further notice. As of 30 March the following hotels are open for new bookings for passengers in transit:
- Aerotel (Heathrow Terminal 3) – +44 20-34816299 or the hotel website.
- Holiday Inn London West – +44 20-8753-0800 or the hotel website.
- Thistle (Heathrow Terminal 5) – +44 20-7523-5056 or www.thistle.com
Note: This hotel will suspend operations on Friday, April 10, 2020. No new reservations can be made for stays after April 9.
- Tony’s House Hotel (Paddington) – +44 20-7402-4114 or http://aga-london-hotels.com
- St. David’s Hotel (Paddington) – +44 20-7723-3856 or www.stdavidshotels.com
- Karma Sanctum (SoHo) – +44 20-7292-6100 or www.sanctumsoho.com
- (NEW) London Elizabeth Hotel (Paddington) – +44 20-7402-6641 or www.londonelizabethhotel.com
UK Government COVID19 Guidance
Stay Home: You should only leave your residence for (1) shopping for basic necessities; (2) one form of exercise a day; (3) any medical need; (4) or necessary work purposes. When outside, stay 2 meters (6 feet) away from other people.
Business and Venue Restrictions: Most restaurants, retailers, recreational and residential businesses are now closed. Some takeaway and delivery services remain open and operational. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service runs as normal.
Public Gatherings: No public gatherings of more than two people are permitted, except where the gathering is of a group of people who live together. UK police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce these guidelines where people do not comply.
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.
U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh
+44 (0) 131 556-8315
U. S. Consulate General Belfast
+44 (0) 28 9038-6100
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
United Kingdom Country Information page.
For the latest information with regards to COVID-19, please visit the U.K. Government’s webpage on Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice. The following steps may help reduce the possible spread of infection.
- COVID-19 Stay At Home Guidance (via GOV.UK)
- stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
- do not use public transport or taxis
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands
- try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
- Use the 111 Online Coronavirus service to find out what to do next
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours
- In Wales call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 46 47
- In Northern Ireland call 111.
- Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.
U.S. Centers For Disease Control links
- Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Department of State InfoCentral Coronavirus page
- How To Self-Isolate (via GOV.UK)
- Travel.state.gov – UK Country Information and Travel Advisory page for the UK
- U.S. Embassy London (this website)
- UK Travel Information following Coronavirus (COVID-19) Proclamation
- White House : Coronavirus Guidelines for America (PDF / 2 pages)