When is the US border opening to UK visitors? Reopening date after travel ban lifts - and entry requirements

UK residents had been banned from entering the US due to the Covid-19 pandemic for over a year

The US has officially lifted its travel ban, which prevented most UK residents from entering the country throughout the Covid pandemic.

Since March 2020, only US citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and people with national interest exemptions were able to travel to the US if they had been in the UK or EU in the previous 14 days.

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But now fully vaccinated passengers from the UK and the EU are able to enter the US, ending the travel ban implemented by former US president, Donald Trump.

This is what you need to know.

When will US borders reopen to UK residents?

The US reopened its borders to UK visitors on Monday (8 November).

It had previously been announced that fully vaccinated UK travellers will be able to travel to the US from November 2021, however for a long period of time, an exact date was not confirmed, causing frustration amongst travellers and travel companies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “delighted” that US President Joe Biden is “reinstating transatlantic travel”.

He added: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

No specific dates beyond “early November” have been announced yet (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said the reopening of the US borders was a “moment to celebrate” after “more than 600 days of separation”.

He went on: “Transatlantic connectivity is vital for the UK’s economic recovery, which is why we’ve been calling for the safe reopening of the UK-US travel corridor for such a long time.

“We must now look forward with optimism, get trade and tourism back on track and allow friends and families to connect once again.”

Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said the easing of restrictions is “a major milestone to the reopening of travel at scale, allowing consumers and businesses to book travel to the US with confidence”.

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “Connectivity between the US and the UK is part of the bedrock of the global economy.

“The Prime Minister has secured a massive win for global Britain in getting these links restarted.”

Around 3.8 million British nationals visited the US every year prior to the pandemic, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

What are the entry requirements for UK visitors?

UK travellers, and all other foreign visitors, will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination to enter the US, as well as proof of a negative Covid test taken within three days of arrival.

Airlines will be required to collect contact information from international travellers so that they can be traced if required.

What are the rules for people returning to England from the US?

The US was on the UK’s amber list, however, from 4 October, new travel rules were implemented, which saw the US added to the ‘rest of world’ list, meaning fully vaccinated people can visit the US without having to quarantine on their return.

The new rules came into force from 4 October (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

From 4 October, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need a pre-departure test before returning from the US or any other ‘rest of world’ countries, as part of the updated travel rules.

The government has also promised to remove the requirement for day-two PCR tests on arrival in England from later in October, replacing them with lateral flow tests.

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