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Infographic Guide to Vaccination, Testing and Paperwork for USA Travel

(Infographic & blog updated May 15th 2022)

Remember when it was just "Money, tickets, passport?"

Those were the days!

Passport Images

Travel has gotten complicated, thanks to the emergence of everyone's least favourite coronavirus - COVID-19.

I understand why so many are confused or overwhelmed - please don't feel bad if you're unsure about any of it!

Luckily I've spent hours a day for the last 9 months knee-deep in the ins and outs of all the rules and requirements related to travelling to America and coming back to the UK & ROI.

I know them inside out.

I'll happily help you wade through it all, as I've helped hundreds of others so far. 

Read on for more, or dive straight in to this frequently updated infographic.

New York skyline above the water on a sunny day

Find out exactly what you need to travel to the USA from the UK or ROI right now...

Updated 15/5/2022

To travel to the USA in 2022 you need to be able to prove your vaccination status, COVID -19 infection status (unless recently recovered with the required proof!) and more, thanks to America's efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.

There are rules to follow and requirements to satisfy!

They are all detailed here in this 'Ultimate Infographic Guide to Vaccination, Testing & Paperwork for USA Travel'

On the plus side, heading back to the UK has gotten easier in recent months!

Since February 11th the so-called 'Day 2' Test has no longer been required for the fully vaccinated, and the Passenger Locator Form has subsequently been dropped entirely. 

It's also great news that children 5 and over are now able to prove their COVID vaccination and/or recovery status for travel purposes - check out this government/NHS page for a breakdown of how this can be done by age group. 

Below is a summary of the main information in the infographic, but do make sure you check out the file itself for all the helpful tips, tricks and reminders...

I'd recommend bookmarking this post, as whenever there is an update to the rules I will update both the post and the infographic linked within.  


Travel to the USA - COVID-19 rules

Vaccinated adults require:

  • Proof of Vaccination Status (2 doses of any of the jabs used in the UK - the US doesn't yet require a booster) - this can be shown via the QR codes generated on the NHS app, or other ways listed in the infographic

  • Pre-Departure Test - a supervised viral test (rapid antigen or PCR - we recommend the former, since it is quicker, cheaper and much less likely to pick up a false positive from an old infection).

    The test must be taken no more than 1 day before travel (so if your flight departs at, say, 11am on a Friday, you can test at any time on the Thursday, or even on the Friday before check-in.

    (Your flight time is irrelevent - in this example regardless of the time of the Friday flight, you could test at any time from 00:01 on the Thursday)

    If you travel under the exception for those recently recovered from COVID you do not need to take this test, as long as you provide 'Documentation of Recovery' at check-in.

    At the moment, unless you are travelling within a week or two of a positive test it may be easier and even cheaper to not travel under his exception...

    This is because you need both a GP letter and proof of positive test (full details in the infographic) - taking the Pre-Departure test will likely cost less than obtaining these, and will ensure a smoother check in process, allowing you to check in online / use your airline's app.

  • A completed Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form - this may be collected via your airline's pre-travel verification system (Verifly for BA, American Airlines & Aer Lingus, FlyReady for Virgin Atlantic), or you may need to print and complete the CDC form.

    (There's a handy tip on the infographic around this - check out why I recommend everyone has a printed copy with them, even if they've used their airline's app)

  • To provide their US contact details to their airline, so they can be provided to the Government if necessary.

Children (17 and under) need:

  • Age 2-17 must take a Pre-Departure test and complete an Attestation Form as per adults above.

  • If they are unvaccinated or have only had 1 dose, they must also take a test on day 3-5. This can be rapid antigen or PCR, and does not need to be supervised nor uploaded anywhere - I've included details of the tests I used for my boys in April 2022 in the infographic. 

  • As above, children do not need to take the Pre-Departure Test or the Day 3-5 test if travelling on the exception for those recovered from COVID in the last 90 days - though as before, it may be easier & cheaper to test than utilise this exception! 

(Unvaccinated adults are not included here as they are unlikely to be travelling to the USA - there are so few exceptions. If there is demand for this information, please let me know!)

Travel home from the USA - COVID-19 rules

All testing and paperwork requirements for travelling back to the UK have been removed, even for unvaccinated travellers.

I will update this article and the infographic if this changes.

Download now > Ultimate infographic guide to vaccination, testing and paperwork for USA travel

PS - click the banner below for a free 30 day trial of Prime Video Unlimited, which includes the ability to download movies and TV programs to your devices to watch when travelling, including on the plane! :)