The US Government has revealed big changes to entry requirements. From November 8, all non-US citizens/residents will need to be fully vaccinated to enter the US – from anywhere. For Americans, the rules around pre-travel testing will be tightened too.
Here’s a quick rundown of how this will all work.
Starting November 8, any foreigner who wants to board a flight to the US will need to prove that they have been fully vaccinated. This means that they will need to have received a full dose of either an FDA or WHO approved vaccine at least a full 14 days prior.
Spoiler alert: there are hardly any. A very small list of unvaccinated foreigners will be allowed to enter.
This includes people participating in vaccine trials, those with medical conditions or anyone travelling on non-tourist visas from countries where vaccines aren’t readily available. Exemptions may also be granted for humanitarian or emergency reasons with approval from the US Government in the form of a letter.
Seven days of self-quarantine and additional testing may be required.
Don’t forget the kids.
Anyone under 18 will be exempt from the vaccine mandate. Instead they will need a pre-departure test. If their guardian(s) are fully vaccinated this can be done within three days of departure. If they’re travelling with an unvaccinated adult or alone, this is reduced to just one day.
For US Citizens and Residents
The vaccine mandate will not apply. But the rules around pre-travel testing are being tightened.
From the same date, any US citizen or resident who isn’t fully vaccinated will need to a negative viral test (PCR or Antigen) within just one day of departure. Those who have had the vaccine will still need to get a pre-travel test too. But they will have the existing three days to do so.
What about Crew?
Both foreign and local crew entering the US will be exempt from these new rules. Instead they will need to continue following existing CDC guidelines which you can read here.
There will also be a new requirement for air operators to collect contact information from all passengers and provide it to CDC ‘quick smart’ – just in case they need to get in touch with anyone. More details on this are set to follow.
November 8 is a big day for US borders for another reason too. For the first time since the start of the pandemic the entry ban on passengers from the UK, Ireland, much of Western Europe, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India is finally being lifted. You can read more about that announcement in our recent article here.
The official Presidential announcement of the vaccine mandate.
The official CDC Guidance on the new rules, including a useful FAQ section.
More on the topic:
- More: US to lift travel ban for vaccinated travellers
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- More: What’s the delay in the USA?
- More: US to require Covid tests for all international passengers