What are the current rules for school trips travelling to and from the USA?
4 Jan 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 for the first time since 2020.
This is our interpretation of the rules on 25 April 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.
Tests and paperwork requirements for school trips to the US
Groups planning to travel to the US should familiarise themselves with the national entry requirements and state rules for visitors.
Adults need to be either fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19 to enter the US. Children aged 17 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
All air passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to take a COVID-19 test (PCR or lateral flow) before travel. The only exception is travellers who have proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 (within the last year).
The USA will accept the NHS COVID pass as a record of recovery and vaccination.
All passengers also need to fill out an attestation form before boarding their flight.
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. 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.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status while on your school trip to the USA
On March 7, NYC discontinued the "Key to NYC vaccination" requirement, though businesses in the city can still choose to require proof of vaccination. When organising your itinerary, we will check the requirements of specific states and venues.
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 visit the US.
More information from the COVID-19 Travel Hub
- School Travel Insurance with COVID-19 cover
- Voyager School Travel Peace of Mind Promise
- Guide to Restarting School Trips
- COVID-19 Travel FAQs
- Vaccination requirements for school trips abroad