Hurricane Irma is travelling over Florida, and is expected to affect coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina from the morning of Monday 11 September 2017 and parts of North Carolina from Monday afternoon. The authorities in Puerto Rico, Florida, the US Virgin Islands, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared a state of emergency.
Across the United States it is important that you follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders. The situation could deteriorate significantly. Our ability to provide assistance may be extremely limited. You should ensure you have your own contingency plans in place and consider your travel plans very carefully, staying in contact with your airline and/or tour operator as appropriate.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for parts of Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties, the Florida Keys, Miami’s barrier islands and coastal Broward county. In Georgia the authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for all areas of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by a potential storm surge. The Governor of South Carolina has ordered the evacuation of 8 barrier islands along the coast, including Hilton Head, in Beaufort, Jasper and Collerton counties. There are further evacuation orders in place and more are likely over the coming days. For a comprehensive list and further information, you can find updates on the websites of FEMA, Florida Disaster, Georgia Emergency Management, South Carolina Emergency Management and North Carolina Emergency Management, as well as on the websites of local authorities in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. You should continue to follow the advice of the local authorities and any evacuation orders. See Natural Disasters
Tropical Storm Harvey continues to affect parts of the southern USA from Texas to Louisiana. More information about the recovery process, including links to transport information, is available from the Harris County Recovery Network.
In March 2017, the US government implemented additional security measures relating to carriage of electronic items on flights departing to the US from a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
On 28 June 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it would also begin implementing separate enhanced security screeningprocedures for all commercial flights to the US.
If you need more information about how either of these measures may affect your particular flight, contact your airline or travel company.
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
On 26 June 2017, a US Supreme Court ruling partly reintroduced temporary immigration measures for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For the latest information check the websites of the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. British passport holders aren’t affected by these measures.
However, you must apply for a visa to enter the US if you’ve travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011 (with some exceptions) or are also a national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. See Entry Requirements
Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the United States every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurancebefore you travel.
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 only), Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website: for travel to Florida and Texas (Cameron County) – for travel to Puerto Rico – for travel to US Virgin Islands.
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.