Official Travel Advice for USA
Summary - addition of information and advice on the announcement of a state of emergency in Virginia in the vicinity of the State Capitol in Richmond on 17 January
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 23 Jan 2020.
Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the USA every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
On Wednesday 15 January, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a State of Emergency from 5.00pm local time on 17 January to 5.00pm local time on 21 January, banning all weapons, including firearms, in the vicinity of the State Capitol in Richmond. This follows concern from local law enforcement who said they identified credible threats of violence surrounding a planned protest in Richmond on Monday 20 January. If you’re in Richmond at this time you should avoid demonstrations, remain vigilant, and follow the advice of local authorities.
On 7 January a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck around 10 kilometres off the coast of Puerto Rico, following a series of smaller earthquakes in the region throughout the past several weeks. There has been structural damage in the south-west of the island, close to the epicentre, and power has been switched off as a precaution. Aftershocks are also expected. You should monitor developments on the US Geological Survey website and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout the major airline hubs in the USA. See Snow storms
You will need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor. Restrictions apply depending on the type of passport you hold, your nationality, criminal history, and countries you may have recently visited. See Visas
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
You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime. See Crime
The Atlantic hurricane season normally runs from 1 June to 30 November. The Pacific hurricane season runs from 15 May to 30 November. See Hurricanes
Forest and brush fires (wildfires) are a danger in many dry areas. See Wildfires
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