Today, the U.S. borders have opened to fully vaccinated international travelers, and as we reported back in September, enhanced contact tracing and testing will play a part in the new requirements to which travelers must adhere. Let’s take a few minutes to go over the specifics.
International travelers wishing to enter the United States must be fully vaccinated. Among the vaccines that meet this need are those manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and AstraZeneca. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is not currently on the approved list and is being examined by the World Health Organization.
Travelers must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of a flight to the U.S., and must show proof of negative results. Children under 18 do not need to meet the vaccination requirement, but must test prior to travel. Children under the age of 2 do not need to test.
If an unvaccinated traveler wishes to come to the United States from a country that has a low percentage of access to a vaccine (currently 50 countries are on the list as such), that traveler may apply for exemption with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such exemptions will only be based on “a humanitarian or emergency reason, such as an emergency medical evacuation.”
Unvaccinated U.S. citizens who will be traveling internationally will need to take a COVID-19 test within one day of travel. All fully vaccinated travelers wishing to travel internationally will need to test within three days of their intended departure.
Airlines will be conducting contact tracing, and will be gathering information from travelers in order to do so.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as additional information and guidelines are provided.