On September 20, 2021, US President Joe Biden announced plans to reopen borders to international visitors from “early November”. However, only those who have undergone a full vaccination programme will be permitted to enter the country.
The news has sparked joy within the travel industry, as the US has been shut to almost all foreign arrivals since the pandemic began in 2020.
Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO and chairman said: “Today’s news, which will see our two nations reunited after more than 18 months apart, marks a historic moment and one which will provide a huge boost to Global Britain as it emerges from this pandemic.”
However, there will be strict rules Britons must follow in order to gain entry to the country.
What are the rules for travelling to the US from November?
The FCDO updated its travel advice page for Britons looking to visit the US following President Biden’s announcement.
The FCDO states: “On September 20, 2021, the US Government announced it would lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are waiting for further details. British nationals planning to travel to the US from November 2021 onwards should wait for further information to be released by the US Government.”
What vaccines will be permitted for entry to the US?
According to the US administration, only certain vaccines will be accepted.
The US has not yet approved AstraZeneca for use during its own national vaccination rollout.
However, the good news is travellers who have received both doses of the AstraZeneca jab will be granted entry.
A spokeswoman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it currently considers people to be fully vaccinated – and therefore able to travel to the US – if they have received any of the FDA-authorised vaccines or one approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As AstraZeneca is approved by the WHO, it will be an acceptable vaccine for travel.
In a tweet, travel expert Simon Calder said: “To be absolutely clear: AstraZeneca jabs will be acceptable.
“They are recognised by the World Health Organization and the US accepts WHO-approved jabs for arriving travellers.”
Vaccines approved by the WHO include:
- Serum Institute of India Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation)
- Oxford AstraZeneca
- Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)
- Sinovac CoronaVac