Travel News » October 2013 » US Government Shutdown: Could it affect your holiday?

US Government Shutdown: Could it affect your holiday?


Entry into the US is expected to be unaffected by the government shutdown, however National Parks and other tourist sites could be closed to visitors.

The US federal government has begun a partial shutdown following the failure of the two houses of Congress to agree a new budget. Essential services are still in operation but many other government run facilities are being closed until further notice as staff are sent home on unpaid leave.

According to the Foreign Office Travel Advice website air traffic control, security and immigration processes are not currently expected to be affected by the shutdown however delays may occur.

It is once you arrive at your holiday destination that you could find the shutdown having an impact.

National Parks will be shut down as over 21,000 staff are told to stay at home. Day visitors to the parks will be asked to leave immediately and guests using overnight facilities will be asked to make alternative arrangements. It is likely that park roads will be closed and all access to national parks will be denied.

National Parks include very popular tourist attractions such as Alcatraz, Yosemite and the Statue of Liberty.

The Smithsonian Institution, which runs the National Zoo and many museums and galleries in Washington, including the Natural History Museum and the Portrait Gallery will also shut down.

For up to date information about the situation in the US visit the Foreign Office travel advice website.

If you are travelling to the USA travel insurance is vital; emergency medical costs can quickly amount to £1000s and you would be liable to pay the bills yourself if you are uninsured.

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