(September, 2021)

Since March of last year, the United States has put forth stringent entry requirements for all non-U.S. citizens who wished to enter the country. Although not every country was banned from entering, many individuals had to jump through hoops and workarounds by first traveling to, and spending two weeks in, an intermediate country such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic, then receiving a negative Covid-19 test result prior to entry to the U.S. if the purpose of the trip was not deemed essential.

Effective this November, the ban is set to be lifted on most travelers from 33 countries, which include the Schengen Area, Ireland, the U.K., Ireland, Brazil, China, India, Iran and South Africa, as long as they can show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test.

To assist in demystifying the confusion around the entry requirements, we have provided responses to the most Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the basic entry requirements?

Travelers must show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of boarding a flight to the United States. 

Which vaccines are accepted for entry?

Travelers are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccines approved for emergency use by WHO will also be accepted. 

Is quarantine required after entry?

No. Quarantine will no longer be required for vaccinated travelers.

Will there be exemptions from mandatory vaccination (children, unvaccinated, etc)? 

It is not known at this time whether exemptions will be made for unvaccinated persons, children, participants in Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials, or persons traveling for an important reason who do not have timely access to vaccination. 

How does this impact U.S. citizens returning from international travel?

The vaccination stipulation does not apply to U.S. citizens. However, the entry requirements will continue to require proof of a negative result from a test taken within one day of their return flight to the United States, and to test again after they land.

How does this impact ‘foreign nationals’?

Foreign Nationals are considered individuals who are long-term residents of the United States, but are not American citizens. For these travelers, the requirements for vaccination and negative test would apply. 

What is changing in traveler entry requirements from countries that were previously allowed to enter the U.S.?

Countries such as Singapore, Japan, and Mexico were previously allowed to enter the United States.  These countries will continue to be allowed entry, but must follow the new requirements of being fully vaccinated along with the proof of negative Covid-19 test result. 

How are Canada and Mexico impacted?

Land borders remain closed through October 21, 2021, as we await information on either an extension or removal of the land border decisions. Travelers arriving from either Canada or Mexico by air will face the same requirements as those traveling from the other countries.

What day in November do the new entry rules go into effect?

The Biden administration has not yet indicated when in November the new rules will be put in place.

Will there be any traveler contact tracing components included to enter the U.S. by air?

According to the White House spokesperson, Jeff Zients, airlines will be required to obtain traveler information for purposes of contact tracing to enable the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contact travelers if exposed to Covid-19.

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