Official Travel Advice for USA
Summary - updated information on a state of emergency declared in Louisiana and a local flooding risk across several states following impact of Tropical Storm Barry on 12-14 July; if you're in an affected area, you should continue to monitor local weather updates from the National Weather Service and follow the advice of local authorities.
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 18 Jul 2019.
Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
On 12-14 July, Tropical Storm Barry affected coastal areas of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. A State of Emergency has been declared in Louisiana. In addition, the National Hurricane Center has predicted life-threatening flash and river flooding in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, southeast Missouri and western Tennessee. If you’re in an affected area, you should continue to monitor local weather updates from the National Weather Service and follow the advice of local authorities.
At 10.33am on Thursday 4 July, an earthquake struck southern California. The magnitude 6.4 tremor was centred about 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles in the remote Searles Valley area near where Inyo, San Bernardino and Kern counties meet. There have already been a number of aftershocks - including one on 5 July at 20:19 with a magnitude of 7.1 - and these are likely to continue. There are reports of fires and other damage in affected areas. If you’re in the area, you should follow local media for updates and follow the advice of local authorities (who have declared a state of emergency). Further advice on preparing for and dealing with the effects of an earthquake is available on the Federal Emergency Management website.
Before travelling, you should check forecasts for any weather warnings on the US National Weather Service website. The site also offers helpful tips on dealing with any extreme weather. You should be aware that the Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November. The Pacific hurricane season runs from 15 May to 30 November. Further details are on the US Ready campaign website.
You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. Restrictions apply depending on the type of passport you hold, your nationality, criminal history, and countries you may have recently visited. Visa and other entry conditions can change at short notice. It’s your responsibility to know and understand the rules of entry before you travel. See Entry requirements
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should monitor media reports and remain vigilant at all times. See Terrorism
UK health authorities have classified the United States as having a risk of Zika virus transmission in Florida, Texas (Cameron County and Hidalgo County only), Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. See Health
You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime. See Safety and security
Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout airports in the USA. See Natural disasters
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:United States
Drive on the: right
Visitors/Tourists: 62,711,000 in 2011
Spanish (official regional language) 9.6%
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Population: 632,323 (in 2012)
Largest City: New York City