All passengers from the age of two travelling to the US must have supervised COVID tests under strict new entry rules confirmed this week.
Tests can be PCR or lateral flow, but they must be taken under live supervision, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fully vaccinated travellers and their unvaccinated children will be able to enter the US quarantine-free for the first time from 5am on Monday.
But everyone from the age of two – including the fully vaccinated – must have a negative COVID test unless they have proof that they’ve recovered from coronavirus in the previous three months.
Fully vaccinated travellers will be able to take the COVID test any time in the three days before their departure, but children who haven’t had both jabs must take the test no earlier than the day before their flight unless accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or legal guardian, in which case they can take the test within three days.
Home testing kits are allowed but ONLY if taken with a live video link to a health professional.
Also, the CDC says home or self-testing kits must also be approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Several testing firms are advertising home testing LFTs with medical supervision via a Zoom link, but not all – including some of those that say they’re suitable for travel to the US – provide a video link to a health professional.
The Private Harley Street Clinic says it has a new supervised home test, from £35, which is FDA-approved and suitable for travel to the US. Cignpost ExpressTest said it will have FDA-approved home test kits with online supervision available from 17 November, which also cost £35, the same as its in-clinic tests that are already available.
TUI is advising its customers to have a PCR test taken by a health professional.
Adult travellers who aren’t vaccinated but allowed to travel for exceptional reasons are also required to take a second test on day three to five of their stay in the US. Under 18s and fully vaccinated aren’t required to test on day three to five but the CDC recommends they do.