US travel rules: Under 18s won’t need to be vaccinated to visit the States

New rules released ahead of 8 November reopening

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 26 October 2021 10:35
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The US has confirmed that under 18s won’t need to be vaccinated in order to travel there when the country reopens to Brits and other nationalities next month.

From 8 November, the blanket travel ban that has been in place for those in the UK, Europe and various other destinations since March 2020 is set to be lifted for the fully vaccinated.

However, President Joe Biden has now given more information on the rules that will be in place for international arrivals – and minors are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Under 18s need not be vaccinated, though children between the ages of two and 17 are required to take a pre-departure test.

“If travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, an unvaccinated child can test three days prior to departure (consistent with the timeline for fully vaccinated adults),” the US authorities say.

“If an unvaccinated child is travelling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to test within one day of departure.”

Vaccinated adults must take a Covid test no more than three days before travel, which can be a rapid antigen (lateral flow) test.

As an alternative to the test, travellers can provide proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the past three months, but must still show that they have been fully vaccinated.

For UK travellers, the NHS Covid pass letter – available free from the NHS in the traveller’s UK nation – should be sufficient as proof of vaccination, and the digital Covid pass is also likely to be accepted.

In a presidential proclamation on Monday, Joe Biden said: “I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the Covid-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States.”

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