Covid-19 in the USA | What you need to take into account
As of 12 May 2023, all US measures related to Covid-19 for international travellers have been lifted. This means that travellers to the USA no longer have to show proof of testing or vaccination. Being allowed to travel to the USA or not no longer depends on the vaccination status of the traveller in question. Travellers must still have a valid passport and an ESTA or visa.
The end of Covid-19 related measures in the USA
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, it became impossible for European travellers to travel to the USA. The U.S. government had implemented entry restrictions in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). These measures are also known as the ‘travel ban’. On 8 November 2021, these measures were largely lifted, making it possible to travel to the USA for a holiday or business trip. However, there were strict Covid-19 related measures in place that all travellers had to adhere to.
For example, each traveller to the USA had to show proof of vaccination and a negative test certificate, have a valid ESTA or visa and have a passport that was valid during the entire trip. On 12 June 2022, the testing certificate was no longer required, but proof of vaccination was. Only vaccinated travellers were therefore allowed to travel to the USA. At present, 38 months after the first outbreak of Covid-19, that too has passed and there are no more Covid-19 measures in place. This means that anyone with a valid travel authorisation can travel to the USA.
Applying for an ESTA USA
One of the most important preparations for a trip to the USA is applying for proper travel authorisation. Without a valid ESTA or visa, you will already be stopped at the airport. Because applying for an ESTA is much quicker and easier than applying for a visa, it is recommended that you apply for this travel authorisation if you meet all the corresponding requirements. As was the case before the pandemic, ESTA applications are processed on average within three days.
The ESTA can also be applied for if you do not have any set travel plans yet. When applying for an ESTA, you need not yet have booked a flight or accommodation. Once the travel authorisation is granted, you can determine the exact time of your trip to the USA yourself, as long as your trip is within the validity period of the ESTA. Generally, the ESTA is valid for two years but expires sooner if you start using a new passport in the meantime.
Do you want to travel to the USA sooner or later this year?Apply for an ESTA now
Returning home to the UK or Ireland from the USA
You can travel back to the United Kingdom and Ireland from the USA without any problems. There is no longer a testing or quarantine requirement for travellers returning to the United Kingdom or Ireland. You also no longer have to complete a health declaration.
Disclaimer: The situation regarding Covid-19 in the USA is changing and U.S. authorities can amend measures and travel restrictions at any time. For this reason, the information on this page cannot be guaranteed to be up-to-date and correct at all times. Check both this page and the websites of your travel operator and airline to stay informed of current developments.