As of midnight (ET) Sunday, June 12, travelers leaving for the United States will no longer be required to show a negative Covid test or a documentation of recovery from Covid before they board their flight. The new regulations introduced by the CDC are valid for 90 days, following which they may be extended or suspended depending on the situation of the pandemic.
Lifting the requirement for Covid testing does not remove the basic requirement for vaccination. Essentially, the restrictions set forth in the Presidential Proclamation of October 25, 2021 (“Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the Covid-19 Pandemic”), which set out in detail the procedures for vaccinated people to enter the U.S., and notes limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement, remain in place.
RULES FOR ENTRY INTO THE USA
FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELERS, AND ACCEPTED VACCINES
a) Travelers who are fully vaccinated shall be allowed entry into the United States. ”Fully vaccinated” applies to people vaccinated with FDA-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson) as well as to those vaccinated with vaccines listed on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL), which includes AstraZeneca.
b) A person is considered “fully vaccinated” if he/she has received, at least 14 days prior to arrival in the U.S., the second dose of vaccination, or the single dose in the case of one-dose vaccines (Johnson and Johnson).
c) “Fully vaccinated” also applies to people who have received a mixed-dose vaccine provided that it was carried out with vaccines approved by the FDA or included in the EUL: “any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series”.
NB: A person who has contracted CoVID-19 and has received only one dose of vaccine (except for the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine) is not considered fully vaccinated as pertains to travel to the United States.
PROOF OF VACCINATION
a) A Vaccination Certificate (digital format accepted) must be presented to the airline at the time of boarding.
b) Airlines must verify both the correspondence between the traveler’s data and that reported in the certificate of vaccination, and that the certificate was issued by authorized bodies or organizations.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS
a) Minors under the age of 18 are exempted from the vaccination requirement.
b) If not vaccinated, minors between 2 and 17 years of age must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken one day before departing for the United States.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE VACCINATION REQUIREMENT
There are very limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement for those arriving from abroad. They include:
a) those under the age of 18.
b) Travelers who are participating in COVID-19 clinical trials.
c) Travelers who for medical reasons or contraindications cannot be vaccinated.
d) Those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons (with proof in the form of a letter from the U.S. government).
e) Those traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with vaccination rates below 10% (the CDC will publish a list of such countries).
Foreign travelers who fall under the above exceptions are required to be tested between days 3 and 5 of arrival in the United States. Even if the test result is negative they will be required to observe a 7-day period of self-isolation, unless in possession of a certificate of recovery from Covid.
Beneficiaries of the above exceptions who intend to stay in the country for more than 60 days will be required to get the vaccination in the United States. This is without prejudice to those who, due to medical contraindications, cannot be vaccinated.
Under the Proclamation, the limitations do not apply to holders of the following visa categories:
Pursuant to the Proclamation, the limitations do not apply to holders of the following visa categories:
a) A1, A2, A3 (diplomats and government officials);
b) G1, G2, G3, G4 (diplomats and officials of International Organizations)
c) NATO 1-2-3-4-6 (military or civilian personnel traveling to the U.S. in accordance with NATO agreements);
d) C1, C2, C3 (visas for travelers in transit);
d) Ship and aircraft crew members;
e) Those traveling to the United Nations Headquarters in New York (in this case, a letter of invitation from the United Nations is required which states the reasons for the trip).
For more information, please see CDC’s travel assessment https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html