Travelling to the United States: Rules to follow

Traveling to the United States- rules to follow

Written by Adonis Hakk

December 23, 2021

The United States has recently established new international travel policies around air, land, and ferry. Vaccination is also a key to entry for all foreign visitors.

Here is what you need to know about the new rules:

Who can travel to the U.S.?

The new travel policies allow fully vaccinated non-citizen and non-immigrant travelers to enter the United States, revoking various bans that have been in place since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It means all foreign nationals arriving from countries that have been previously subject to bans will soon be allowed to enter the U.S. The vaccination requirement applies to air travellers, and those crossing borders via land and ferry.

What are the travel requirements?

If you are arriving at a U.S land port of entry or ferry terminal for non-essential travel, you will need to present the following:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination as stated on the CDC website.
  • Verbally attest to your non-essential travel and COVID-19 vaccination status.

International Travels by Air

Proof of Vaccination

International visitors must present proof of full vaccination before their flight to the United States. All FDA-approved vaccines, including authorized vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from WHO, will be accepted.

Individuals can only be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

Testing Requirement

For Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Even fully vaccinated travellers still need to take the coronavirus test when travelling by air to the U.S. Regardless of citizenship, air travellers need to test negative for COVID-19 within three days before their flight.

Children below two years of age do not need to get tested. However, children aged 2 to 17 are required to take a pre-departure test.

People planning to travel outside the U.S will not need to get tested before their departure unless their destination requires it. For others who wish to travel within the United States but are not two weeks out from their final vaccine shot, CDC advises them to get a viral test, particularly a PCR test.

For Unvaccinated Individuals

According to Presidential Proclamation and CDC, the new air travel rules do not apply to U.S citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. lawful permanent residents or immigrants. But unvaccinated people from such groups are still subjected to stringent testing requirements for air travel. They must also provide a negative viral test taken within a day of departure for the U.S.

For all American travellers, a test three to five days after travel is recommended. Unvaccinated people must take a full seven days of self-quarantine even if the COVID-19 test result is negative.

Americans and legal residents can follow different rules for travel via land and ferry crossings. They do not need to present proof of vaccination upon returning to the U.S, and COVID-19 tests are not required to cross land or border.

Contract Tracing Requirement

Contact information must be presented to airlines before boarding a flight to the U.S as the process is critical to detecting and responding to variants of COVID-19.

Other Public Health Mandates

All travellers must still wear a mask over their nose and mouth in airplanes, airports, and public transportation while travelling to, within, and out of the U.S. Always check for their destination’s specific state and local requirements as some may have different health and safety guidelines.

What kind of documentation is required for proof of vaccination?

The U.S accepts both digital and paper proof of vaccination as long as the documentation meets the U.S. requirements for being fully vaccinated. The responsibility of determining the validity and legitimacy of the documents falls on Airlines as well as checking if the information presented meets the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated.”

Are you looking for a testing provider?

Harley Medic Global is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the U.K., ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website to learn more.


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