Biden Administration Announces Plans to Rescind COVID-Related Travel Restrictions For All International Travelers to the United States

Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
The Biden Administration recently provided details regarding its plans to lift COVID-related travel restrictions for all international travelers to the United States. Implementation of the changes depends on the manner of entry into the country.

International Travelers Entering by Land and Ferry Crossings

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that DHS will lift Title 19 restrictions for land and ferry crossings from Canada and Mexico in two phases. Title 19 regulations refer to restrictions on non-essential travel at land borders.

During the first phase, beginning November 8, 2021, DHS will allow non-essential travel for unvaccinated individuals.

During the second phase, beginning early January 2022, DHS will require all foreign travelers (both essential and non-essential) to be fully vaccinated, with minimal exceptions, such as children and humanitarian exceptions for those traveling for urgent reasons and who lack access to vaccination in a timely manner.

International Travelers Entering by Air

According to media reports, presidential proclamations that have been in place for nearly a year and a half barring entry from over thirty countries will be rescinded on November 8, 2021. The new plan will replace these travel restrictions with the requirement that international travelers show proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in addition to proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of boarding a flight to the United States. There are limited exceptions to this, such as those described above.

Only vaccines that are approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted for international travelers. These include:

  1. FDA Authorized/Approved: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer-BioNTech
  2. WHO Approved: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac

Other Travel Announcements

Other noteworthy announcements concerning international travel include the following:

  • The current requirement for everyone to show proof of a negative test taken within three days of boarding a flight will remain in place for all fully vaccinated travelers.
  • CDC will continue to strongly recommend against air travel by Americans who are not fully vaccinated; however, all unvaccinated travelers who return to the United States and are not fully vaccinated will be required to show the following before boarding an airplane:
    • Provide proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure;
    • Provide proof that they have purchased a viral test to be taken after arrival.
  • CDC will also issue a Contact Tracing Order that will require airlines to collect comprehensive contact information for every passenger coming to the United States and provide that information promptly to CDC upon request to follow up with travelers exposed COVID-19 variants or other pathogens.
  • These requirements will apply globally.

There are still unanswered questions regarding exceptions and what forms of proof of vaccination will be accepted. But the additional details provided above are certainly helpful in making any future travel plans to the United States.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Nilan Johnson Lewis PA | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Nilan Johnson Lewis PA

Nilan Johnson Lewis PA on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.