Last Updated: Monday 6th December 2021
Skiing and riding this year will be different; we’re here to welcome you back to winter as smoothly as possible. This guide is a brief overview of what to expect when travelling to and around the USA and in resort this winter.
Got any more questions? Please give the Information team a call on 0208 410 2009 or drop us an e-mail at [email protected]
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issues advice relating to the safety of a country or destination to travel to. If you travel against this advice, there could be serious ramifications for the cover provided under your travel insurance policy. Please read their advice and your travel insurance policy very carefully before booking and travelling.
NHS COVID Pass & Booster Doses
As of Friday 19th November, the NHS Proof of COVID Vaccination has been updated to demonstrate proof of third or other booster vaccinations. Please refresh your NHS COVID Pass after this date to ensure all appropriate doses are included on your NHS COVID Pass.
Currently, the USA does not require a third dose to be considered “fully vaccinated” (see below). However, if offered, you should strongly consider take up your third “booster” dose, to ensure swift compliance with any changes in international regulations.
In the eyes
of American authorities and for the purposes of this overview, a person is
considered fully vaccinated if they have received a full course of a Centre
for Disease Control (CDC) accepted vaccination against COVID-19, including
those accepted for emergency use. This includes all four vaccines regularly
administered by the NHS in the UK.
Those who have received a full course of an active COVID-19 trial vaccine (AstraZeneca or Novavax) are also considered full vaccinated for this purpose. Note that you cannot have received the placebo variant during the trial.
This must have been administered no less than two weeks (14 days) before departure for the USA, with the day you received the vaccination counting as day 0.
More details can be found here.
Entry requirements are subject to change at short notice.
Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s advice
for America for the latest guidance.
All Travellers must wear a facemask on all flights to the USA, as well as in airports and on board buses and trains.
Vaccinated – vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine upon arrival. Before boarding the plane, you must be able to provide:
- Proof of Vaccination – this can be done using your NHS Proof of COVID Vaccination, on either app or PDF on your phone, or on paper form.
- You must demonstrate proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 24hrs before departure, or proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
- You must register your details with your airline before departure.
- It is recommended, although not essential, that you take a viral test within 3 to 5 days of your arrival in the USA
Unvaccinated – You can only enter the USA if you hold US Nationality or a residency permit or possess an accepted exemption. You must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 24hrs before departure. You will need to self-isolate on arrival for seven full days and take a viral test (such as a PCR test) between 3 and 5 days – you are exempt from this testing requirement if you have previously recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 90 days unless you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Getting Around – Bars, Restaurants, Etc.
Masks are required to be worn in all federal buildings, as well as in airports and on flights to and within the United States.
There is no nationwide proof of vaccination requirement in place in America. Several states have imposed state-wide mandates, and in some cases individual businesses are free to choose whether to ask for proof of a negative test, recent recovery, or vaccination to varying degree. Note that in many cases, states have banned business from asking for proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. Please check before travelling.
All Vail Resorts - those served by the Epic Pass - will require proof of vaccination and a reservation at all on-mountain restaurants owned by the company. Reservations will open the day before.
New York state requires proof of vaccination for anyone aged 12 or older to access indoor dining, indoor fitness areas, and indoor meeting and entertainment venues. New York has issued their own COVID pass, called the Excelsior Pass.
California and Illinois require proof of vaccination for entry to large events over 1,000 in California’s case) - San Francisco and Los Angeles now implementing tighter restrictions for indoor venues.
To travel to and around Hawaii, you must upload proof of vaccination to the state’s Safe Travels programme or a recognised partner.
For more information on state-by-state requirements, please see information provided by MIT here.
What to Expect in Resort?
Social distancing is being encouraged, but we do not believe this will impact lift capacity, etc. You may notice reduced capacity in mountain restaurants and cafes. Resorts are planning on operating without reservations systems that were in place during the 2020/21 season. Some resorts, particularly those part of the Vail Resorts group, will require dining reservations at the mountain restaurants and at restaurants owned by the company.
Explicit guidance on face coverings vary between provinces/territories. However, they are expected or mandatory in all indoor environments and outdoors where it is impossible to maintains social distancing, including all lifts.
Vail Resorts (Epic Pass)
Vail Resorts has confirmed that it will limit ticket sales at its 34 North American resorts during three major North American holiday weeks throughout the season to prioritise users of their Epic Pass. This will include Christmas (25th Dec.-2nd Jan), the weekend covering Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (Jan 14th-17th) and Washington Week (Feb. 18th-27th). This will effect 33 resorts across the USA, so please check carefully before travelling.
All Vail-owned resorts will require proof of vaccination and a reservation at all on-mountain restaurants owned by the company. Reservations will open the day before.
Alterra Mountain Company (Ikon Pass)
No explicit guidance has been issued for Alterra's collection of 15 resorts. Expect to follow state and federal regulations where necessary.