US to lift travel ban for vaccinated travellers

By David Mumford

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From Nov 8, the US will lift its Covid travel restrictions to allow fully vaccinated passengers to enter from those countries currently on the banned list:

  • The UK
  • Ireland
  • The 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).
  • China
  • Iran
  • Brazil
  • South Africa
  • India

The rules right now

The travel ban has been in force since March 2020, when the pandemic first began gathering pace. Under the current policy, only certain people can travel into the US if they have been in a banned country within the previous 14 days:

  • US citizens and their immediate families.
  • Green card holders.
  • Flight crew if traveling to the US on C, D or C1/D visas.
  • Those with national interest exemptions (NIE). (Amongst other things, these also allow foreign crew to enter to pick up aircraft and do delivery/maintenance flights etc despite their travel history.)

For more details on the current restrictions and exemptions, check the US CDC webpage here.

The rules from Nov 8

There are no guidelines yet on the new requirements due to take effect in November – these are expected to be announced in the coming days. The few crumbs of info we know so far:

  • Before departure – Travellers to the US will need to show proof of vaccination in addition to a negative Covid test taken within three days of the flight. There will be some exemptions to the vaccine policy, including for children not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
  • On arrival – Travellers will not need to quarantine upon arrival in the US, but airlines will be asked to collect their contact info for contact tracing purposes.
  • Which vaccines will be accepted? All FDA and WHO approved vaccines will be accepted.
  • Any changes for US travellers? – Yes. US travellers will also be subject to stricter requirements and will need to take a Covid test a day before they leave the US, and another one when they return.

We will update this page as new info is announced.


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David Mumford

David Mumford

OPSGROUP Helmsman of the B's: Blog, Bulletin, and Briefs. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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