Travel Advice United States 2020: the latest update

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United States Travel Advice

Travel Advice United States 2020 as at 13th August 2020


On 12th March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. This led to travel restrictions and border closures around the world and now, in June, we are starting to see these restrictions easing and people looking again to book holidays. Travel restrictions in each country vary and here, at, we want to ensure that you, our customers, are provided with the latest travel advice for the key destinations favoured by you.


The first cases of Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) were confirmed in the city of Wuhan, China on December 31st  2019 and since then, it has proceeded to spread to 215 countries and territories with over 20,162,474 people so far testing positive for the virus. (Source: WHO)

The United States (U.S.) confirmed its first internally transmitted case of COVID-19 on 20 January 2020 and by 13th August, 5,360,302 cases and 169,131 deaths had been declared. (Source: WHO)


What is COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. This virus is a type of coronavirus which can cause illness in animals and humans. Coronavirus infections in humans can result in coryzal symptoms as seen in a common cold and more severe respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia. In recent years, we have seen outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).


SARS-CoV-2 is the most recently discovered type of coronavirus and it is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The method of transmission is often via cough, sneeze or exhalation. People breathing in these droplets or touching the surfaces these droplets land on and who touch their eyes, nose or mouth are at risk of developing COVID-19.


The World Health Organisation continues to assess ongoing research on the means of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 but general advice is to maintain distance from others, regularly wash hands and avoid touching your face.


Many countries have implemented temporary travel restrictions and COVID-19 has impacted on events and activities. In the travel advice newsletter, we will endeavour to provide you with the latest travel advice on key destinations.


Current Travel Advice for United States, as at 13th August 2020


Is is safe to travel to the United States in 2020?


On 6 August 2020, the US announced the suspension of entry for foreigners who have travelled to or reside in certain countries affected by COVID-19. They may also deny boarding of any US-bound traveller showing signs of illness. For more details, please refer to the website of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.


From 14 March 2020, all non-US passengers from Europe, including the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland or anyone having travelled within the Schengen Zone in the 14 days prior to departing for the USA have been banned from entering the U.S.


This ban was stated to last for 30 days but was extended as COVID-19 cases continued to rise. As recently as 28th May, President Trump has stated that he hopes to ease these restrictions in the near future.


This ban follows similar bans on non-US nationals travelling from Iran and China while the border with Canada has also been closed. Most recently, arrivals from Brazil have also been restricted. 


This page will be updated for the latest travel advice for The United States.


Flight changes to and from the United States


While the skies over the U.S. are not completely empty, air travel in the U.S. has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • American Airlines has grounded up to 80% of its domestic and 90% of its international scheduled flights in April and May while over 600 of its pilots taking voluntary permanent leave of absence. 
  • Delta Air Lines is flying only 30% of its usual schedule.
  • United is operating at only 68% of its schedule with many international flights being used to repatriate US citizens abroad.
  • Southwest has grounded 1,500 of its 4,000 daily flights.
  • Frontier Airlines have announced an eventual resumption of flights to 18 cities this summer.


Cancelled events in the United States


Measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 vary across states in the U.S. with the states of California and New York introducing strict lockdowns while in Laredo, Texas, residents face fines of up to $1,000 if they fail to cover their noses and mouths when entering a building open to the public, using public transportation or pumping gas.


Several sporting events have been postponed including, in golf, The Masters which were scheduled to begin on 9 April 2020 and the prestigious Indy 500 motor race now pencilled in for 23 August 2020.


The NBA and NHL have suspended their 2020 seasons while Major League Baseball has delayed the start of its season. The Boston Marathon has been postponed until 14 September 2020 while horse racing’s Kentucky Derby has been postponed until 5 September 2020.


In music and arts, the Coachella festival has been postponed until 9 October 2020 while Boston Calling featuring Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rage Against the Machine has been cancelled. Also postponed is the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest, which has been rescheduled to 3–5, 10–12, and 17–19 September.


Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) FAQ – Travel


Question: Should I cancel my vacation to the United States?

Answer: In many countries, non-essential travel is being discouraged with the pandemic being a constantly evolving and changing situation.  You should check for latest updates on travel advice for both your country of departure and your destination via respected Government websites and the travel advice newsletter. With refundable bookings on you can be assured that if you do need to cancel your vacation that you will be refunded.


Question: If I decide to travel to the USA, are there any precautions that can be taken to minimise the risk of infection?


  • Avoid contact with people displaying symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with hands, especially if unwashed.
  • Make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • While the focus is on COVID-19 please ensure that you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.


Question: Is there an increased risk of infection whilst travelling by air?

Answer: Due to how air is filtered and circulated on airplanes, many viruses and germs do not spread easily. Many countries now also operate immigration medical checks to identify any passengers who may pose a risk.


Question: Should travellers wear masks in the USA?

Answer: Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to wear a mask as it restricts the spread of the virus. For the uninfected, the wearing of masks is not deemed to significantly reduce the risk of infection, but you may wish to consider the customs of your destination. For instance, all passengers travelling on trains in the United States must wear a face mask while they are encouraged on all other modes of transport.


Question: What can I expect on arriving and departing at airports?

In some countries screening for all passengers entering and leaving their country is being conducted. Before being allowed to board a flight, you may be questioned about your health and your travel history and have your temperature taken.


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