Travelling to the USA this Winter

Although travel requirements might seem confusing at the moment, for the vast majority of travellers they are actually relatively straightforward and it is just a question of completing each of the steps involved.

However, please do take the time to read and understand the entry requirements pages on the UK Government and USA Government websites before you travel.

We've summarised the requirements for travelling to and from the USA as we understand them as of 8 November 2021. They assume you are travelling from the UK and have not visited any other countries 14 days prior to travel.

We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but we cannot account for all circumstances. Requirements are subject to change at any time and we do not take any responsibility for the information provided. You must make your own enquiries to satisfy yourself that you and your party can meet the entry requirements to match your intended travel arrangements.

If you're travelling with children, please read the advice towards the bottom of the page as requirements differ to adults.

For more general information on travelling this winter, please see our Winter 2021/22 FAQs.

Before you go

Before you travel, you should:

  1. Find out if you can enter the USA
  2. Book a valid pre-entry test to take no more than 3 days before your flight departs
  3. Apply for an ESTA ($14 USD)
  4. Ensure that your travel insurance includes comprehensive winter sports and coronavirus cover

On arrival

To enter the USA, you will need to be able to show your:

  1. Proof of vaccination
  2. Pre-entry test result
  3. Other travel documents including your ESTA

Tip: We highly recommend taking both digital copies on your phone and printed copies of all your required travel documentation, and printing the day before travel to ensure you have the most up to date versions.

While you're there

The CDC recommends that all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after travel.

Requirements vary by state and in some cases by resort. We recommend checking with your resort to see what their requirements are before you travel.

Common requirements include:

  • Mask use in indoor, public settings
  • Proof of vaccination for anyone aged 12+ to access certain indoor services, including restaurants and cafes, and in some cases hotels
  • Cashless transactions

Useful links:

Returning to the UK

If you are fully vaccinated or under 18, before you return to England, you must:

  1. Book and pay for a COVID-19 test - to be taken before the end of day 2 in England
  2. Complete a passenger locator form - to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

Rules differ for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Travelling with children

Ages 12 to 17

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 can enter the USA if they are travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians. They must present a negative pre-departure PCR test taken no more than 3 days before departure. They must also take a COVID-19 viral test 2-3 days after arriving in the United States, unless they have documentation showing recovery of COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Many resorts require proof of vaccination for anyone aged 12+ to access certain indoor services, including restaurants and cafes, and in some cases hotels.

Fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 are subject to the same entry requirements as fully vaccinated adults. Please see above for details.

Ages 11 and under

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 2 to 11 can enter the USA if they are travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians. They must present a negative pre-departure PCR test taken no more than 3 days before departure. They must also take a COVID-19 viral test 2-3 days after arriving in the United States, unless they have documentation showing recovery of COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Children under 2 do not need to take a pre-departure test.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about travelling to the USA this winter.

What test do I need to book to travel and where can I book it?

The CDC guidance includes a section on accepted types of test.

We suggest you check the travel testing page on Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website to choose your testing provider. You should also check the UK Government’s list of approved providers.