Executive Order Extending Travel Restriction to U.S. from Iran, China, Brazil, Europe/Schengen Countries (including United Kingdom and Ireland); adding South Africa
On January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to maintain the COVID travel restrictions for entry to the U.S. within 14 days of being physically present in Brazil and most countries of Europe (Schengen countries, including the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland). The order also confirms that the COVID travel restrictions continue for those who have been physically present in Iran or China within 14 days of travel to the U.S.
The order also adds South Africa to the 14-day entry restriction to the U.S.
NOTE: While the Order does not specifically reference the U.S. Department of State notice on National Interest Exemption procedures for F-1 and J-1 visa holders to the Schengen/United Kingdom/Ireland travel restriction to the U.S., the U.S. Department of State has responded to inquiries from professional associations that these exemption procedures remain in place. F-1 visa holders remain exempt; J-1 student/scholar visa holders must continue to obtain a written exemption from the local U.S Embassy/Consulate before each trip to the U.S. All Students/Scholars are also advised to carry a printed version of the Schengen/UK/Ireland exemption information from the U.S. Department of State website available here.
MIT recommends that travelers also contact their airline to verify any restrictions on boarding flights to the U.S.
These travel restrictions (except for South Africa) have been in place since Summer 2020. The Trump Administration announced on January 19, 2021 that the restrictions on Brazil and Schengen countries (including the UK and Ireland) would expire on January 26, 2021. The Biden Administration then announced that it planned to extend the COVID-related travel restrictions once in office given current COVID conditions in the U.S. and in the designated countries.
The January 25, 2021 Executive Order will continue these restrictions until otherwise ended by a subsequent order.
A copy of the full Executive Order is available here.