What are the current rules for school trips travelling to and from the USA?

Kate Moore

12 Jun 2022, 13:54
by Kate Moore

Are school trips to the USA allowed in 2022?

Yes, fully vaccinated teachers can lead school trips to the USA

This is our interpretation of the rules on 12 June 2022. COVID-19 rules are subject to change and may differ by the time your trip departs You can stay up to date by following the Foreign Office advice.

COVID tests and paperwork requirements for school trips to the US

Adults need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the US. Children aged 17 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement when travelling with a fully vaccinated adult. The USA will accept the NHS COVID pass as a record of recovery and vaccination.

Vaccinated adults, and any children travelling with them, are nolonger required to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the plane. The pre-travel testing rules are detailed on the CDC website.

On arrival in the US, any children who are not fully vaccinated may be required to attest that they will take a test 3 to 5 days and will self-isolate should any symptoms develop or if they test positive. A parent or other authorized person should attest on behalf of a passenger 17 and under. 

Other entry requirements for school trips to USA

In addition to these COVID-19 requirements, you will need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter the USA as a visitor. You should consult the US State Department website to determine which you will need. 

To visit the USA your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

We also recommend that the lead teacher carries a letter, on school letterhead, listing all the teachers and students on the trip and confirming to border control that the group is on a school tour.  

COVID-19 rules for school trips returning home from the US

All UK COVID travel restrictions were removed on 18 March 2022, making it much easier for groups returning home from a school trip abroad. This means that, regardless of vaccination status, no forms or tests are required to return to the UK from abroad.

Can unvaccinated teachers travel to the US?

The current rules mean that unvaccinated teachers cannot travel to the US. Children under the age of 18 do not need to be vaccinated to take a school trip to the USA as long as the teachers in the group are fully vaccinated. 

More information from the COVID-19 Travel Hub

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