United States: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Business Aviation
September 18, 2020
- The U.S. is still restricting anyone who has been to a suspended region during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
- All stops in suspended regions, overnight or just tech stops, are treated the same.
- On September 14, the U.S. CDC removed requirements for directing all flights carrying airline passengers arriving from, or recently had a presence in, certain countries to land at one of 15 designated airports and ended its enhanced entry health screening for these passengers.
- Entry by any non-U.S. foreign national (that includes Canadian and Mexican citizens) who has been in a suspended region over the past 14 days is HIGHLY RESTRICTED and will be denied, with few exceptions.
- On August 6, the US State Department lifted its advisory warning US citizens against traveling abroad, which it had originally issued in March. The State Department is now issuing individual country warnings.
- The U.S. remains excluded from the EC’s Safe List. However, many European countries are still accepting U.S. flights and/or passengers under substantiated business conditions.
- Advise passengers and crew to continue maintaining a 14-day travel history log of the countries, states, and cities they visit. This is critical for both travel into the U.S., within it, and abroad.
- For all PCR testing, advise passengers and crew to have Passport Number, Driver’s License Number, and Full Name included on the test results. A number of countries are requiring this.
- Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico land borders are in place until Sept. 21, 2020. We are in close communication with U.S. CBP for updates since this date is coming up.
- Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and parts of Mexico (Los Cabos, Cancun, Cozumel, etc.) are all good options for travelers from the U.S., with some restrictions and/or quarantining at a vacation home/rental. USVI comes back online for leisure Sept 19.
- Hawaii – Pre-arrival testing program to begin Oct 1. All travelers arriving in Hawaii are still required to have a temperature check, complete a Travel Declaration Form, and self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Puerto Rico – Open to foreign tourism. Flights from a U.S. suspended region are not allowed. U.S. CBP may approve direct ferry flights from suspended regions with advanced request. National Guard will review negative COVID-19 test results and Travel Safe Form, interview each passenger, and determine if quarantine is required.
- USVI – International leisure hotel guests will be permitted to check in starting September 19. Covid-19 test required. Visit the USVI Travel Screening Portal and fill out the info requested in advance. Additional information available on https://usviupdate.com/.
- Alaska – A negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before will exempt visitors from quarantine. They are also asking that you take a second test 7-14 days after you arrive. Details online. U.S. crew and passengers traveling from a previously restricted area may now enter the U.S. through PANC and PAFA.
- Massachusetts – Requires a Negative PCR test from everyone 72 hours prior to entering the state, unless entering from CO, CT, DE, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VT, WA, WV, and WY or transitioning through the state. We are unclear on how this will be enforced, but fines for violating the order is $500 per day.
- New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – Require travelers from 30+ states to undergo mandatory quarantine. It doesn’t apply to crew or “any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.” The onus to comply is on the individual, and it is not being actively policed as far as we can tell. We have not heard from any operator that the restrictions have caused issues with travel. Read the official travel advisory for New York online.
- Other U.S. states/districts/cities with various forms of quarantine and/or testing requirements for people entering include: Arizona, D.C., the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, Indianapolis, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. Again, we have not heard of any enforcement of these measures.
- The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and associated travelers utilizing ESTA are unaffected by the April 23 Presidential Proclamation which suspended processing new immigration applications from aliens for 60 days. New applications for signatory carrier status under VWP are still being processed. All U.S.-based operators (including some international companies with U.S. subsidiaries) and non-U.S. commercial operators are eligible to apply. If you are not a signatory carrier and qualify, we recommend you apply to increase your operating flexibility. We can help.
- The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is another avenue foreign nationals can seek for entry into the U.S. and can be an effective means of entry. Note: Requires U.S. Embassy approval. We can provide consultation.
14 DAY TRAVEL HISTORY is REQUIRED for any operator seeking to enter the United States.
- Travel History = Countries visited for any period of time in last 14 days.
- Simple affirmative statement from operator/PIC is acceptable.
- If there are unique circumstances please discuss with your Universal Team.
- US Authorities have extended the ground border closures with Canada and Mexico to all nonessential travel through Aug 20.
Entry into the United States of all immigrants, with certain exceptions, is suspended.
- * U.S. Permanent Residents
- * Persons currently holding VALID U.S. Visas or other Conditional Authorization for Travel (ie. Transportation Letter or Advance Parole Document) Issued prior to proclamation
- Note: Essentially, the U.S. is not processing any new immigration applications from Aliens during this period unless they meet very specific criteria, i.e. National Security, assist in the fight against COVID-19, etc. We are pending clarification on if travelers on an ESTA will be affected.
As further provided in each proclamation, citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States, certain family members, and other individuals who meet specified exceptions, who have been in one of the countries listed, below, in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States through one of 15 airports. After arriving to the United States from one of these countries, CDC recommends that travelers stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.
1. Department of State officials have also advised US citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Authorities urge anyone entering the country from abroad to self-quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days.
US officials have suspended entry for foreign nationals who have been in Brazil, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, UK, Ireland, and the Schengen Area within the last 14 days. The Schengen Area includes 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. US citizens and legal permanent residents who have traveled to a country on the restricted list within 14 days of arrival must self-quarantine for 14 days.
2. Passengers who have been in one of the countries listed in bullet number 1 in the past 14 days but are exempt from the restriction to enter the USA, must arrive at one of the following airports: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington (IAD).
3. Hawaii orders Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine for all individuals arriving or returning to Hawaii.