Travel rules for the USA and Canada

by | | Post Views 1344 views

*This was updated in a new post on 17th November 2021

The USA and Canada are two of the most popular destinations for British travellers. Not just because they have some of the best places in the world to take a holiday, but many thousands of brits have family members in these countries that they may not have seen for some time. In normal times, after the euro, the US dollar is the second most popular currency bought in the UK.

So now the rules are relaxing how easy is it to get on a plane or a boat and travel to the USA or Canada? We take a look.

travel rules for the USA and Canada U.S flag image


The USA is on the amber list of countries at the moment which means you have to comply with the UK Government rules when returning to the UK. These include not having to quarantine if you have been double jabbed. However, America very quickly closed down it’s borders when the pandemic took hold and they are still pretty tightly controlled. The Gov.UK travel advice on the USA states:

It is not possible for most British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil, China, South Africa or India within the previous 14 days. Those arriving from outside these areas will need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor”

There it is then. In a nutshell if you are British and you want to travel to the U.S. for a holiday or to see family you are unable to do so. It highlights the fact that even though the UK Government might have a country on green or amber status, it doesn’t mean you can travel there!

Hopefully, as the USA advances it’s very effective vaccination program they will start to loosen border control and allow visitors once again.

You can find out more on the US embassy website.

Travel rules for the USA and Canada Canadian flag image


On the 30th August Canada was placed on the green country list. This means you don’t need to self-isolate when when returning to the UK. However, like the USA the borders are pretty much closed at the moment. The UK.GOV travel page states:

The Canadian authorities are barring entry to Canada, including at its border with the US, to most foreign nationals, including British nationals”.

There are very few exceptions but from August 9th 2021 American citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. may be able to travel if they are fully vaccinated and on September 7th 2021 this may be extended to other foreign nationals including Brits.

You can find details of the Canadian travel restrictions on the Government of Canada travel page.

These rules will also apply to a lot of other countries even though the UK Government has permitted travel from the UK. The best way to check the up to date entry requirements for any country at any time is the GOV.UK Foreign travel advice page.  

When and if you can visit the USA or Canada then we have dedicated US dollar and Canadian dollar currency pages that will show you the best live deals.

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.