Now that the United States has lifted its international travel ban, here is WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW before travelling to the US for work or leisure!
US International Travel Ban Lifted On 8 November 2021!
Almost 20 months after shutting out international travellers, the United States reopened its borders on 8 November 2021.
This not only allows families to reunite, it has also reopened the doors to business travellers and tourists. Flights to the US were reportedly full.
Many Delta flights to the US were 100% full over the next few weeks, with a 450% surge in international bookings. Lufthansa also reported that their flights to the US were fully-booked, while Virgin Atlantic and British Airways said that their passenger volumes to the US was almost full.
Latest US International Travel Rules: What You Need To Know!
Before you book your tickets, please go through this summary of the latest US international travel rules (as of 10 November 2021)!
Who Must Be Fully-Vaccinated
All foreigners (18 years or older) travelling to the US must be fully-vaccinated, according to these requirements :
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covavax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart
Only these groups are exempted from the requirement to be fully-vaccinated :
- US citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents
- US immigrants
- Air crew members
- Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
- Children under 18 years of age
- Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
- Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
- Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
- Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
- Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
- Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)
Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines
The United States will accept all vaccines that received US FDA or WHO approval or EUL. As of 10 November 2021, t this includes :
Single Dose Vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson Janssen
Proof Of Vaccination
Travellers will be required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination that must include these information :
- Personal identifiers : full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
- Name of official source issuing the record : public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
- Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination
These types of COVID-19 vaccination records will be accepted, as long as they have the information listed above :
Verifiable Records (Digital / Paper)
- Vaccination certificate with QR code
- Digital pass via smartphone application with QR code (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate, Malaysia’s MySejahtera)
Non-Verifiable Paper Records
- Printout of COVID-19 vaccination record
- COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level, or by an authorised vaccine provider (e.g. CDC vaccination card)
Non-Verifiable Digital Records
- Digital photos of vaccination card or record,
- Downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorised vaccine provider), or
- A mobile phone application without QR code
Proof Of Negative COVID-19 Test
Regardless of citizenship, ALL TRAVELLERS who are 2 years or older, must obtain a negative COVID-19 viral test, or produce documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
This proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 must be presented to the airlines before you are allowed to board the plane.
The viral test must be conducted on a sample taken no more than 3 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country if you show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Travellers Who Are NOT Fully-Vaccinated
The viral test must be conducted on a sample taken no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure from a foreign country if you do not show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Travellers Who Recently Recovered From COVID-19
If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
I hope this guide helps you safely and conveniently travel to the United States.
Here are the two key sources you can check for more details on US travel requirements :
- CDC Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 vaccination for Air Passengers
- CDC Requirement for Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19
Have a safe flight, and a great holiday in the United States!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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