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November 4, 2021

Updated Requirements for Air Travel to the U.S.

On October 25, President Biden announced a Presidential Proclamation titled “A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  This proclamation, which takes effect at 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on November 8, 2021, will end the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations (P.P.) 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199 as they relate to the suspension of entry into the United States of persons physically present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  In place of these restrictions, the President announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national travelers.   This proclamation applies to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departs after 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on November 8, 2021.  For additional information, please visit State Department’s FAQs .

THIS POLICY ELIMINATES THE REQUIREMENT THAT TRAVELLERS OBTAIN A NATIONAL INTEREST EXCEPTION TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  has announced a new Order for all air passengers traveling to the United States. Effective November 8, 2021, all nonimmigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

Exceptions to this policy will be extremely limited:

  • children under 18
  • people medically unable to receive the vaccine
  • emergency travelers who do not have timely access to a vaccine

Details on exceptions and waivers due to humanitarian concerns, is available at Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States | CDC.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one (1) day before their flight’s departure. U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight.  Both nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), such as a PCR test, and antigen tests qualify.  This is the same standard for qualifying tests that has applied to the pre-departure testing requirement since January.  The test must be administered no more than three calendar days before the date of the international flight to the United States.  So, if a traveler is departing for the United States at 10 PM on January 19, they would have to present a negative test result for a test that was taken any time after 12:01 AM on January 16.

Both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated should travel with proof of their vaccination status to provide to their airline prior to departure to the United States.  That proof of vaccination should be a paper or digital record issued by an official source and should include the traveler’s name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine product and date(s) of administration for all doses the traveler received.  CDC has determined that for purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines.  See here  for more information.