After the United States closed its borders to travelers from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and most of Europe over COVID-19 fears, restrictions are shifting to include restrictions based on vaccine status.
From Monday, travel bans for certain countries will end. The U.S. will allow travelers from other countries, but they must be vaccinated – with some exceptions.
In addition, the United States is reopening its land borders with Canada and Mexico for vaccinated individuals. The majority of travel from Canada and Mexico into the United States is by land.
Following the White House announcement, airline reservations to the United States exploded, prompting a welcome, if challenging, industry pivot.
In a long-awaited move, the US is welcoming back international travelers on Monday. The move follows 18 months of restrictions imposed on 33 countries during the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic that had separated families, hampering business ventures and frustrating tourists.
British Airways saw a 900 percent uptick in searches for flights and packages to key US destinations during the week following the White House announcement.
Are there any requirements for traveling to the U.S.?
The U.S. continues to require that all adult foreign travelers enter the country fully vaccinated. Like before, travelers must still provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Do all people need to be vaccinated?
There are some exceptions. Children under 18 do not need vaccinations, but they do need to take a COVID test. Kids 2 and younger are not required to take a test.
Adults who are not vaccinated: what should they do?
With half of the world still unvaccinated, and vaccine distribution skewed toward wealthy nations, the Biden administration is leaving a gap in its policy for people living in places where vaccination is scarce. The list includes about 50 countries where less than 10% of the population has been vaccinated. Travelers from those countries will need a visa to enter the United States, and it cannot just be for tourism or business purposes.
Are there any requirements for returning Americans?
Unvaccinated Americans must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of international travel. If you are vaccinated, you must take a test within three days of your departure, whether you are American or citizen of another country. Flights within the United States do not fall under this provision.
Which vaccines will allow you to enter?
Any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, including those manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson in the United States as well as those manufactured by AstraZeneca and Sinovac in China. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, currently approved in 70 countries, isn’t allowed by the WHO. The WHO is reviewing Sputnik, but hasn’t approved it yet.