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Topic: Travel to USA my experience during COVID  (Read 420 times)

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Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« on: April 16, 2021, 05:16:37 PM »
Hi All

I just thought I would share my experience on travel into American earlier this week as a UK Citizen in case any others are thinking of doing similar during the current restrictions

I travelled to USA on my own this week as my Wife was already in America due to family death and I was following her out, a little nervous as she was not with me.

Pre travel I got my Covid Test at East Midlands Airport (close to me) for a fee of 59 and results were with me within minutes
I also had to upload a document to a fit-to-travel site to confirm why I should be allowed to leave the UK, there are a few options on here and one of them was for funeral.   This is quick and simple to do, I then got an email from United Airlines to say that was ok.

On arrival at Heathrow you can not check in advance as you have to confirm the following
1) Are you travelling on ESTA or VISA
2) Show a copy of your Covid Test
3) Inform why you are travelling.  In my case was funeral.  I did not have to show any evidence of this but had a copy of death certificate sent to me as I understand you can be stopped by officials and be asked to show this.

On informing it was ESTA I was told that this was on Hold so would have to go and talk to a USA Border Security person.   He came over to me and quizzed me why I was travelling, and required evidence of my Marriage to my wife for which I produced our wedding certificate and also importantly a copy of her Passport.  After what seemed along wait whilst he was on the Computer he came back to me and quizzed me a bit more basically about my previous trips into America under a work Visa which I told him this was all social no work.  He then let me proceed to check in desk.

Similar questions there and as I was on ESTA the lady had to make a phone call to get it cleared.  This went through ok and I was clear to go through to departures

On arrival in America I was through security in 1 minute as the security hal was empty (possibly 20-30 people on my flight!) just a couple of quick questions nothing to worry about.

Internal flight Chicago to San Fran well that was different in terms of passengers it was 100% full with people on standbys.

I did see some people in Heathrow having issues as they didnt have all the evidence needed,

So if your travelling as a UK Citizen ensure you have copies of all your paperwork like spouse passport, wedding certificate etc to make it as smooth as you can.


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Re: Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 01:16:24 PM »
Thanks for the in-depth experience. We aim to travel in a few months and I'm worried as we've booked a connecting flight. Manchester-Heathrow-EWR. I don't know at which point I will get quizzed? Will this be in Manchester or Heathrow?

Also, who did your test? Which company?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 01:18:42 PM by Ben1989 »
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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Re: Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 07:32:39 PM »
thank you very much for this update! my spouse and i are flying to the USA on saturday (I'm having surgery) and I'm a little nervous. hopefully with our wedding certificate, will be fine.
Sept '11: premium service same-day tier 4 visa granted in NYC
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October '14: FLRM - applied priority in sheffield office
March '17: FLRM 2 - applied priority in sheffield office
Sept 2019: IRL, priority at Croydon, granted same day
October 2019: submitted naturalisation application
January 2020: citizenship approved!
March 2020: last citizenship ceremony before covid :-O


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Re: Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 01:19:03 AM »
Thanks for the in-depth experience. We aim to travel in a few months and I'm worried as we've booked a connecting flight. Manchester-Heathrow-EWR. I don't know at which point I will get quizzed? Will this be in Manchester or Heathrow?

Also, who did your test? Which company?


MY guess is you will get quizzed in Manchester to why your flying to America and may check you filled the correct forms in for UK.   Heathrow is certainly where you will get quizzed by the American Security Force so just have everything you need as I mentioned I needed marriage certificate and copy of my wifes americna passport as she did not travel with me.

In terms of the test to get out of UK, I used Collinson 59 pounds,  and nipped to East Midlands Airport as it was close to me, they are linked via Heathrow airport.  Results were with me within a few minutes.

For coming back into the UK I have took a gamble and pre booked a test via Qured they have posted me the kit and I have scheduled a video chat with them the day before I fly back I think that test was 39,  looking in San Franscisco they were charging 259 so hoping it will be ok.  There reviews are awfull but BA are saying to use them! and another poster on here mentioned her husband had used them.


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Re: Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 05:22:17 PM »
My mum arrived in the UK today!! She flew Seattle to LHR. There were 16 people on her flight. It took her less than 45 mins to clear immigration/ any relevant checks on her paperwork.

We booked the day 2 and 8 tests for £159 and a day 5 release test for £120. She had to take a test before she flew for roughly $100 (??).

No more cheap holidays to Europe!! (They never we’re cheap to the US!!!).

She’s come over to help me recover from the birth of my second because the husband’s paternity leave is over!! Haven’t seen her since October 2019 and feeling very very lucky. I’m currently a ‘vulnerable’ person... so she can come to support me!


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2004-2008: Student Visa
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Re: Travel to USA my experience during COVID
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2021, 08:09:07 PM »
My mum arrived in the UK today!! She flew Seattle to LHR. There were 16 people on her flight. It took her less than 45 mins to clear immigration/ any relevant checks on her paperwork.

We booked the day 2 and 8 tests for £159 and a day 5 release test for £120. She had to take a test before she flew for roughly $100 (??).

No more cheap holidays to Europe!! (They never we’re cheap to the US!!!).

She’s come over to help me recover from the birth of my second because the husband’s paternity leave is over!! Haven’t seen her since October 2019 and feeling very very lucky. I’m currently a ‘vulnerable’ person... so she can come to support me!


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That's wonderful! Enjoy your mum!  :D


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