Presidential Proclamation Lifts Travel Bans and Establishes Vaccine/Testing Requirements For Air Travel to U.S., Effective November 8
UPDATE 12/03/2021: U.S. Updates Travel Requirements – Negative COVID-19 Test within 1 Day of Travel to U.S., effective December 6, 2021; vaccination requirements remain unchanged from Presidential Proclamation effective November 8, 2021.
On October 25, 2021 President Biden issued a Proclamation, effective November 8, 2021, removing most travel restrictions on entry to the U.S. by nonimmigrant air travelers. The Proclamation eliminates four restrictions now in place (“travel bans”), replacing them with a requirement that all air travelers to the U.S., from all regions of the world, show proof of COVID vaccination and negative COVID test results before being able to board a flight to the U.S.
The Proclamation only addresses air travel. Beginning sometime in November (date to be determined soon), fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico will be allowed to enter the U.S. visa land border and ferry crossings. See details here. Until an official effective date is announced, restrictions on land border entry to the U.S. from Canada and Mexico remain in place.
UPDATE ON LAND BORDER CROSSINGS FROM CANADA AND MEXICO TO THE U.S.
USDHS Announces Fully Vaccinated Travelers Permitted to Enter U.S. at Land and Ferry Border Crossings, Effective November 8, 2021
On October 29, 2021 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that travelers providing documentation confirming they are fully vaccinated for COVID will be able to enter the U.S. for non-essential reasons (e.g. tourism) via land ports of entry and ferry terminals, effective November 8, 2021. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) will release guidance on eligibility and entry protocols implementing the new rules soon.
A summary of the October 29, 2021 USDHS announcement can be viewed here.
A detailed Fact Sheet from USDHS can be viewed here.
The travel restrictions listed below will be lifted at 12:01 am on November 8, 2021. Until that time, they remain in effect [See links to travel ban information available here, and links to National Interest Exemptions (NIE) to the travel restrictions available here.]
- Proclamation 9984 of January 31, 2020 (China), which restricted the “entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States,” unless exempted or otherwise excepted. Proclamation 10043 is not included in or suspended by the October 25, 2021 Proclamation.
- Proclamation 9992 of February 29, 2020 (Iran), which restricted the “entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States,” unless exempted or otherwise excepted.
- Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021 which restricted entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, “of all aliens who were physically present within” South Africa, the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Brazil, unless exempted or otherwise excepted.
- Proclamation of 10199 of April 30, 2021 (India), which restricted “the entry into the United States, as nonimmigrants, of noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Republic of India during the 14‑day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States” unless exempted or otherwise excepted.
The global vaccination and testing requirement will take effect at 12:01am on November 8, 2021. There are limited exceptions to the vaccine requirement for citizens of countries where availability of vaccines is limited, individuals for whom the vaccine is medically contraindicated or inappropriate, children under 18 years of age, diplomats, and others.
*The website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) been updated with information about travel, precautions, COVID testing requirements, exemptions from the vaccine requirement, and a link to the list of vaccines that will be accepted by U.S. authorities for air travel to the U.S. They include vaccines that are FDA approved or authorized, and vaccines with an emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO). Especially helpful is the detailed CDC “Frequently Asked Questions” section.
The CDC also posts comprehensive guidance “Non-U.S. Citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States” here.
*The U.S. Department of State website includes updated travel requirements, as well as a detailed “Frequently Asked Questions” including information about acceptable proof of vaccination, pre-flight COVID testing, the vaccine exemption and testing requirements for children, and more.
- U.S. Consulates abroad may still issue visas to individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated. However, Section 2 of the Proclamation suspends entry to the U.S. by air travelers who are not fully vaccinated.
IMPORTANT NOTE: International students currently on-campus and not vaccinated, with either a religious or medical exemption, are advised to meet with their ISO Advisor before planning travel abroad, as this Proclamation does NOT provide a religious exemption or most medical exemptions for entry to the U.S. Under these terms, travel may not be recommended at this time.
- There is NO religious exemption to vaccination under this new travel policy – students who are not vaccinated should be aware they should not travel outside the U.S. unless they plan to get vaccinated prior to departure or prior to returning to the U.S. from abroad.
- There is an exemption from the vaccine requirement for persons with valid visas (except B-1 Business or B-2 Tourist visas) who:
- are citizens of a foreign country with limited vaccine availability; and
- who cannot be fully vaccinated with vaccines deemed “acceptable” for U.S. entry purposes prior to travel
These foreign nationals unable to get fully vaccinated before entry to the U.S., due to limited vaccine access in their country of citizenship (see CDC List of Foreign Countries with Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Availability) must comply with testing and quarantine requirements, including providing “proof of pre-departure testing for COVID-19”, “proof of having arranged for post-arrival testing for COVID-19”, and “proof of having arranged to self-quarantine or self-isolate after arriving in the United States”, and “must agree to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States”. Details are listed in Section 2 of the Proclamation, and on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website referenced below.
- The Proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents (green card holders), or individuals entering on immigrant visas.