U.S. Announces Updates to International Air Travel Vaccine Policy

Beginning November 8, 2021, adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States by air, with limited exceptions, must demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken in the past 3 days.

This new global travel system replaces the existing country-by-country restrictions, putting in place a consistent approach worldwide.  Airlines will be responsible for verifying the vaccination and testing status of their passengers.

Unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. citizens, LPRs, or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken within 1 day of travel to the United States.

Vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and World Health Organization emergency use listed vaccines.  To demonstrate negative COVID-19 tests, both nucleic acid amplification tests, such as a PCR test, and antigen tests are permissible.

Importantly, children under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement.  However, children aged 2 to 17 must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test.  If a child is not fully vaccinated and traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, they can show proof of a negative viral test from a sample taken within 3 days before departure.  If an unvaccinated child is traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to show proof of a negative viral test from a sample taken within 1 day of departure.

Updates can be found at the U.S. Department of State website: Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel

For additional information, please contact Mechelle Zarou at mzarou@shumaker.com; Maria del Carmen Ramos at mramos@shumaker.com; or, Ali Latif at alatif@shumaker.com.

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