The big question on may British traveller’s minds at the moment is when will they be able to visit America and what will the USA look like post pandemic?
It’s been nearly one and a half years since UK tourists have stepped foot in the United States. With lockdowns in the UK and the United States stopping all tourist travel since March of last year. It has been a long year for America centric UK travellers so, is there light at the end of the tunnel?
Well, with the G7 Summit taking place in Cornwall, England this week there is hope that a “travel Corridor” between the United States and Europe will open sooner rather than later. It is rumoured that it will be high up on the agenda between world leaders this week. With the vaccination program in the UK and the US being so strong with now over 70% of the UK population having at least one does of a vaccine, signs are looking good for travel to return. However, with the rise of the new more infections variant of COVID-19, the Delta variant is set to become the dominant strain in the UK, causing major setbacks for the travel corridor.
So, what will travel actually look like if there was a travel corridor. Well, we can assume that PCR COVID-19 testing would be mandatory before arriving in the USA as well as upon return to the UK. This could be set up at the airport as has been done in Dallas and Texas, along with other major US hubs, where you are tested at least one and a half hours before your flight and get a result back usually within forty-five minutes. Testing on both sides of the Atlantic will incur a cost, with some tests costing up to £100 per person per test. It is also worth noting that some airlines offer testing in their packages, so check with your airline before you fly.
It’s important to remember when traveling to the United States, that you will also require an ESTA Visa. The ESTA visa has been around since the visa waiver program passed congress in 1986. This is the electronic system for travel authorisation and is basically your visa to get into the United States. It is crucial and without it you would not be able to enter the country.
It is vital that you fill in the details correctly on your ESTA application, so ensure you double check every entry you make on the form. The ESTA lasts for 2 years therefore it can be filled out well in advance of your trip to ensure peace of mind before you travel.
As mentioned the big question I’m sure you’re all asking is, what will the United States look like when we travel? Will we need to wear face coverings? Is social distancing in place? As well as many other questions. Well, quite simply it depends on what State you are going to.
The State of Florida for example is a popular tourist hotspot for British tourists especially due to the famous theme park Walt Disney World, as well as Universal Studios. Both have removed the need for face coverings too be worn both inside and outside and the governor has mandated the removal of all COVID-19 restrictions.
On the other hand, if you were to travel to California your visit would be a lot different with social distancing strictly enforced and the wearing of face coverings mandated both inside and outside. So, my advice is simply check the State government website before you book to ensure you know what to expect during your holiday regarding COVID-19 restrictions before you travel.