U.S. COVID entry restrictions update Nov. 8, 2021

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In a much anticipated announcement, on Oct. 25, 2021, the Biden Administration officially released new Presidential Proclamations and a new CDC Order moving the United States away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States. The new proclamations revoke the previous proclamations which had been in effect since Jan. 31, 2020.

Under the new proclamation, effective, Nov. 8, 2021, fully vaccinated foreign nationals will once again be allowed to enter the United States with no quarantine required if they meet the eligibility requirements.


New Proclamation and Order do not apply to U.S. citizens or crew

The Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and immigrants.

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order also do not apply to crew members of airlines or other aircraft operators if such crewmembers and operators adhere to all industry standard protocols for the prevention of COVID-19 as set forth in relevant guidance for crewmember health issued by the CDC or by the Federal Aviation Administration in coordination with the CDC. More details on crew, including FAQs on questions such as what is considered “active crew” can be found here.

This order applies to all flights, including private flights and general or business aviation aircraft (charter flights). Passengers two years of age or older traveling by air into the United States are required to present a negative test result or documentation of recovery regardless of flight type.


U.S. entry requirements for foreign nationals

CDC entry quiz

The CDC has developed an entry quiz to help determine entry eligibility of foreign nationals.

Vaccination required 

The official White Proclamation means that on Nov. 8, 2021, non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to fly to the United States. There will be very limited exceptions to this vaccination requirement for certain non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants, including children under the age of 18.

Testing requirements

Effective November 8, 2021 at 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT),before boarding a flight to the U.S. from a foreign country, all air passengers (regardless of citizenship) – 2 years or older – are required to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result, within a time period based on their vaccination status (see table below), or present documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days. Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true.

Type of Air Passenger
(2 years or older)
Number of Days to get a COVID-19 Viral Test Before a Flight’s Departure to the US
Time Period for Testing for Air Passengers to Obtain a Negative COVID-19 Viral Test
Fully vaccinatedNo more than 3 days
Not fully vaccinatedNo more than 1 day

Proof of recovery

At this time all noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers traveling to the United States, regardless of antibody status, are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Full testing requirement information.


Vaccines accepted

The CDC recognizes “vaccines currently approved or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines)” as well as “COVID-19 vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (such as AstraZeneca/Oxford).”

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

What is considered fully vaccinated?

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series COVID-19 vaccine; or
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an “active” (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT considered fully vaccinated.


No quarantine requirements

There will be no quarantine requirements for those eligible to enter the U.S.


Contact Tracing

All air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide basic contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This will allow airlines to better coordinate with public health agencies to share information when needed to keep the public safe and informed, and strengthen their ability to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19.

In the coming days, the CDC will issue a contact tracing order that will require airlines to collect information from U.S.-bound travelers, including their phone number and email address to act as a “public health surveillance system.” That will give the CDC, state and local health officials the ability to follow up with travelers if they have potentially been exposed to Covid or other diseases.


Exceptions for foreign nationals

  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling pursuant to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)

Entry requirements for U.S. citizens

CDC entry quiz

The CDC has developed an entry quiz to help determine entry eligibility of U.S. citizens.

 Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens steps for entry

  • Testing: You must get a viral test no more than 3 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and show your negative test result. If your test was done on a sample taken more than 1 day before your flight to the United States, you must also show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Recovery: If you had a positive viral test on a sample collected during the past 90 days, and you met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with your positive viral test result and a signed letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
  • Attestation: You will also be required to confirm that the information you present is true in the form of an attestation.

Partially or unvaccinated U.S. citizens steps for entry

  • Testing: You must get a viral test no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and show your negative test result report.
  • Recovery: If you had a positive viral test on a sample collected during the past 90 days, and you met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with your positive viral test result and a signed letter from a healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
  • Attestation: You will also be required to confirm that the information you present is true in the form of an attestation.

Note: These requirements do not apply to children under 2 years of age.

For more information on which types of test are acceptable, what information must be included on the test result, and additional FAQs, visit CDC’s webpage Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19.


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