Global travel alerts

There are no current global travel alerts. Please check the travel advice for all countries in your itinerary. 

USA travel alerts

USA alerts and entry requirements correct as of 09:15 GMT on 03 December 2021

 

With the brilliant news that the US is reopening to fully vaccinated international visitors, our call centres are experiencing extraordinarily high call volumes, which is making waiting times much longer than usual. You can rebook an open ticket or travel voucher online by clicking here.

Please ensure you arrive prepared at the airport with all necessary documentation, including negative Covid-19 test certificate, completed Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form, and accepted proof of vaccination, where relevant. 

 

Requirements to enter the USA

 

Effective 8 November 2021, a new international air policy applies to the United States, which means that foreign nationals entering the United States must be fully vaccinated. Limited exemptions apply. Please ensure you check the CDC website for the pre-departure and arrival rules which apply to you and arrive prepared at the airport.

Helpful links:

International travel guidance from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the United States

US Embassy in the UK travel and visa FAQs

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application

Only fully vaccinated foreign national visitors are permitted entry into the United States.

If you are an unvaccinated adult foreign national and you do not meet the exemption criteria, you will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States.

Limited exemptions to the Covid-19 vaccination requirement apply:

  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials 
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception 
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability 
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa 
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees).

There are a very limited set of circumstances where a non-vaccinated adult foreign national can enter the US. If you’re sure you meet the criteria, you must bring documentation as applicable, confirming eligibility.

 

Effective 12:01AM EST (05:01AM GMT) November 29

Any non-US national or resident who has been in, or transited, the following countries in the last 14 days will not be permitted entry to the US:

Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

Exceptions apply. Check here for more information. 

Pre-departure test

All customers aged 2 and over are required to present evidence of a negative PCR, LAMP or Antigen test taken no more than 3 days before departure. Pre-departure tests for the US can be at-home/remote, providing it’s via a telehealth service affiliated with the test manufacturer (i.e. video-observed) or administered in-person by a health professional.

If travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, an unvaccinated child (17 years and under) can test within 3 days prior to departure. If an unvaccinated child is travelling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to test within 1 day of departure.

From Monday 6 December 2021 all international arrivals by air will be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 1 calendar day of departure to the US.  

Find out how to book a Covid-19 test. A pre-departure video-observed lateral flow test from Project Screen by Prenetics starts from £27 with results returned within 3 hours.

If you’ve recovered from a documented COVID-19 case within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status) you may use documentation of recovery from COVID-19 as an alternative to the pre-departure test i.e. your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel.

 

Pre departure forms

Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form

It is a legal requirement that all customers* travelling by air from the UK to the USA, must complete a Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form. This also includes any customers connecting through the USA. Parents or guardians may complete forms for passengers aged 17 years and below.

*US Citizens under 2 years of age are not required to complete the attestation form. 

*Non-US Citizens under 2 years of age must complete the attestation form. 

You may complete the attestation form within 72 hours of your travel to the US. Please ensure this is completed before you get to the airport, as it will be checked by our airport staff and you will not be permitted to travel without it.

For those customers travelling on Virgin Atlantic operated flights connecting through the UK to the USA, you will need to complete the form before you board the first sector of your journey to the USA.

If you and all the travellers in your party are fully vaccinated, to make this as easy as possible, you can fill in the attestation form online: Digital Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form.

If you or member(s) of your travelling party are unvaccinated, please print and complete the form in advance and bring it with you to the airport. US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents and US immigrants can use this version and non-US citizens and non-US immigrants use this version. Alternatively, you will be directed to complete a form during check in at the airport. 

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of travel and hold a valid Covid Recovery Certificate, please download and complete a paper copy of the Attestation form.

 

Accepted vaccines

For purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted include the following FDA approved or authorized and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines:

Single dose

  • Janssen/J&J

2-dose series

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

 

Accepted proof of vaccination

To be considered fully vaccinated, 14 days must have passed since your single dose vaccine or the second dose of a 2-dose series. See the CDC website for the full definition of fully vaccinated.

Accepted proof of vaccination includes the NHS COVID Pass (via NHS app, EU Digital COVID Certificate and original CDC vaccination record card. Non verifiable records must include the following:

  • Personal identifiers (at a minimum, full name, and date of birth) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorised vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination.

Vaccination certificates may be issued at national or state level or by an authorized vaccine provider.

NHS vaccination record cards are not accepted.

 

Quarantine and arrival requirements

Quarantine, mask wearing, venue access based on vaccination status, and other requirements may be enforced and can vary depending on the state you’re travelling to. Please check the requirements of the local state you're arriving in before you travel.

For State recommendations or requirements, please visit  State & Territorial Health Department Websites or Travel and Tourism Information

Unvaccinated foreign nationals (aged 2 and over) must take a Covid-19 test 3-5 days after arrival in the US. Unvaccinated adult foreign nationals (aged 18 and above) must also self-quarantine for 7 days in the place they are staying (e.g. hotel).

 

Passport

Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

 

Visa

If eligible under the US Visa Waiver Program, you’ll need to apply and obtain an ESTA for travel

For more information, including other Visa types please visit the US Department of State website.

Only US citizens, US nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, and US immigrants will be permitted travel if unvaccinated.

If you are an unvaccinated adult foreign national and you do not meet the exemption criteria, you will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States.

Limited exemptions to the Covid-19 vaccination requirement apply:

  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials 
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception 
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability 
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa 
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees).

There are a very limited set of circumstances where a non-vaccinated adult foreign national can enter the US. If you’re sure you meet the criteria, you must bring documentation as applicable, confirming eligibility.

 

Pre-departure test

All unvaccinated customers aged 2 and over are required to present evidence of a negative Covid-19 test (including lateral flow antigen or PCR) taken no more than 1 day before departure. Self-tests must be FDA approved and include a telehealth service for remote supervision via video call.

If travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, an unvaccinated child (17 years and under) can test within 3 days prior to departure. If an unvaccinated child is travelling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to test within 1 day of departure.

Please see the CDC website for details about the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 when arriving in the United States.

Find out how to book a Covid-19 testA pre-departure video-observed lateral flow test from Project Screen by Prenetics starts from £27.

If you’ve recovered from a documented COVID-19 case within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status) you may use documentation of recovery from COVID-19 as an alternative to the pre-departure test i.e. your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel.

 

Pre departure forms

Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form

It is a legal requirement that all customers* travelling by air from the UK to the USA, must complete a Passenger Disclosure and Attestation form. This also includes any customers connecting through the USA. Parents or guardians may complete forms for passengers aged 17 years and below.

*US Citizens under 2 years are not required to complete the attestation form.

If you or a member of your travelling party are unvaccinated, please print and complete the form in advance and bring it with you to the airport. US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents and US immigrants can use this version and non-US citizens and non-US immigrants use this version. Alternatively, you will be directed to complete a form during check in at the airport.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of travel and hold a valid Covid Recovery Certificate, please download and complete a paper copy of the Attestation form.

Covid-19 testing on arrival

Unvaccinated foreign nationals (aged 2 and over) who are entering the United States because they are exempt from the vaccination requirement will need to take a Covid-19 test 3 – 5 days after arrival.

Please see the US Department of Health & Human Services to source a Covid-19 arrival test in the United States. Low-cost tests are available at health centres and select pharmacies nationwide.


Quarantine requirements

Unvaccinated foreign nationals must self-quarantine for 7 days after arrival in the US in the place they are staying (e.g. hotel). Self-quarantine does not apply to unvaccinated foreign nationals aged 17 and under.

Quarantine, mask wearing, venue access based on vaccination status, and other requirements may be enforced and can vary depending on the state you’re travelling to. Please check the requirements of the local state you're arriving in before you travel.

For State recommendations or requirements, please visit  State & Territorial Health Department Websites or Only US citizens, US nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, and US immigrants will be permitted travel if unvaccinated.

If you are an unvaccinated adult foreign national and you do not meet the exemption criteria, you will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States.

 

Passport

Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

 

Visa

If eligible under the US Visa Waiver Program, you’ll need to apply and obtain an ESTA for travel

For more information, including other Visa types please visit the US Department of State website.

By law, all customers visiting the USA aged two and above must always wear a face covering during their time at the airport and onboard the aircraft.

If you’re not wearing a face mask at any stage, or you refuse to wear a face covering, you won't be allowed to travel and criminal or civil action will be taken against you.

Exemptions:

  • When asked to remove your face mask temporarily for identity verification purposes
  • For brief periods while eating, drinking or taking oral medication
  • While communicating with a person who is hearing impaired and the need for lip reading is essential for communication
  • If unconscious, incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the face mask without assistance
  • Children under the age of 2
  • A person with documented evidence from a medical professional to not wear a face mask such as a disability, mental health condition, respiratory condition or sensory sensitivity condition that prevents them from wearing a face mask

Some states may require you to download a specific app to your mobile device. Please check with the local state before you travel. 

For State recommendations or requirements, please visit  State & Territorial Health Department Websites or Travel and Tourism Information.

Visiting major attractions

Check availability before purchasing tickets

A Disney Park Pass reservation for the dates you wish to visit is now required in addition to your Disney ticket.

You must check there is availability in the parks on your chosen dates before purchasing park tickets or reserving a Disney Park Pass.

View Disney Park Pass availability

Link your ticket with your account to reserve your Disney Park Pass

Disney Park Pass reservations can only be made once your park tickets have been linked with your My Disney Experience account.

Link your Disney reservations and purchases

Please be aware that availability can change. We highly recommend linking your ticket and reserving your Disney Park Pass as soon as possible to guarantee park access on the dates you want to visit.

Access your My Disney Experience account

Good to know

If you're staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel you can reserve your Disney Park Pass as soon as your Disney park ticket has been added to your My Disney Experience account and linked to your hotel reservation.

Customers staying in alternative accomodation can only make Disney Park Pass reservations once their Disney tickets have been purchased in full and linked to their My Disney Experience account.

To link your Disney park ticket to your My Disney Experience account, you'll need a ticket reference. This will be made available to you around 7 days after booking, but usually sooner.

When you receive your ticket reference, we recommend linking it with your My Disney Experience account and reserving your Disney Park Pass as soon as possible.

  • Tickets are fully refundable up until your holiday balance due date.
  • Some experiences, including theme parks, may be modified or unavailable to allow for physical distancing and limited contact.
  • Services such as Park Hopping and Disney FastPass+ may be modified or unavailable and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Keep up to date with the latest requirements, safety measures and other information in place by visiting the Walt Disney World Know before your go website.

Planning your trip

Universal Orlando Resort has begun to reopen with restrictions and safety measures in place. However some hotels remain closed. For the latest information, visit https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/safety-faqs

 

USA airport guides

Atlanta

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

View airport guide

Boston

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

View airport guide

Las Vegas

McCarran International Airport (LAS)

View airport guide

Los Angeles

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

View airport guide

Miami

Miami International Airport (MIA)      

View airport guide

New York

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

View airport guide

Orlando

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

View airport guide

San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

View airport guide

Seattle

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

View airport guide

Washington DC

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

View airport guide

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening and US security

The US Transport Security Administration (TSA) screens all baggage going through commercial US airports, for security reasons.

When flying to or from the US you may notice your baggage has been opened after it was checked in.

When this happens, a notice will be placed inside your bag telling you that it was opened for inspection by a TSA official, and your bag will be resealed with a tamper evident label.

Locking your check in bags

You should always make sure your bags are securely locked before checking them in. The TSA recommends you leave your bags unlocked to make them easier to search, but we disagree with this policy.

You can buy special TSA-approved locks, which can be opened by security officials with a master key. The locks can be bought from luggage shops at most airports.

Please be aware that the TSA has the right to break into your locked baggage, which can cause damage if you're not using the TSA-approved locks.

Loss or damage of items during TSA screening

If there is any damage or loss of items incurred during the TSA’s screening process you should make a claim on your insurance.

You can also contact the TSA Consumer Response Centre on 1-866-289-9673, where your case will be assessed on an individual basis. Further information is available on the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

This section tells you about US passenger security screening, and what to do if you've experienced difficulties when flying to or from the US in the past.

In order to ensure security on flights into the US, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens passenger information for all travellers entering the country.

When you give us your Advance Passenger Information (API) for a flight to the US, your full name, date of birth and gender will be supplied to the TSA for watch-list screening. Find out more about this process on the TSA website.

How to make an enquiry when you have API problems with flying to and from the US

If you've experienced difficulties when flying to or from the US in the past, it may be the case you share the name of someone on the US government’s ‘no fly list’, or there may be another issue with your records.

If this is the case you can apply for a ‘redress number’ from the Department of Homeland Security’s Traveller Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). This number may help prevent problems in the future.

Contact us to add your redress number to future bookings with us, so we'll have it as part of your Advance Passenger Information. 

This section explains what TSA Pre✓ and Global Entry are, who is eligible to use them, and how they can apply.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has developed a pre-screening process called TSA Pre✓. This allows qualifying travellers, including Virgin Atlantic passengers, to enjoy faster security screening and use dedicated TSA Pre✓ lanes at participating US airports.

With TSA Pre✓, you don't need to remove shoes, light jackets or belts when you go through security. Compliant liquids and laptops can stay in your hand luggage as well.

UK nationals can use TSA Pre✓ by joining the Global Entry programme, which also allows a faster entry through US immigration on arrival.

Who can use TSA Pre✓ at the airport?

Membership of the TSA Pre✓ programme itself is to US citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Citizens of other countries, including the UK, can join the Global Entry programme, which allows use of the TSA Pre✓ lanes at the airport.

The Global Entry programme, for non-US citizens

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection 'Trusted Traveler' programme for non-US citizens, including UK passport holders. It helps you get through customs and immigration more quickly when you arrive in the US at certain airports, by using automated kiosks.

You will also be able to use the faster TSA Pre✓ security lanes, if they are in operation at your airport.

To join Global Entry, you will need to apply and undergo a background check and interview. There is a non-refundable application fee, currently $100.

Applying for TSA Pre✓ and the Global Entry programme

The application process for TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry involves a background check by the TSA. This includes taking your fingerprints and verifying your identity to check your criminal history, legal status, and other intelligence-related information.

You will also need to have an in-person interview at a US airport. We recommend you sign up for an interview ahead of time, so you can meet with a TSA official when you're next in a participating US airport.

Apply for TSA Pre✓

(US citizens and lawful permanent residents only)

Apply for Global Entry

(For citizens of other countries, including the UK)

How to use TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry

Once your application for TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry has been approved, you'll be issued with a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

You should add this number to your booking, via My booking, at least 72 hours before you fly. A TSA Pre✓ symbol should appear on your boarding pass, and you'll be allowed to enter the faster security lanes at the airport.

If you have a connecting flight on another airline, including our partner Delta Air Lines, you'll also need to add your Known Traveller Number (KTN) to your booking with them.

Global Entry members arriving in the US enter dedicated kiosks, scan their passport or U.S. permanent resident card, have their fingerprints checked and complete a customs declaration. They can then get their bags and leave the airport.

Additional information

The TSA authorises passengers for expedited screening, not Virgin Atlantic. Random and unpredictable security measures are incorporated throughout US airports, and no passengers are guaranteed expedited screening.

Not all US airports currently offer TSA Pre✓, including some that Virgin Atlantic fly from.

Children aged 12 and under can accompany an eligible traveller through TSA Pre✓.