Twenty months post stringent Covid-19 lockdown, the United States is reopening its international borders only for fully vaccinated passengers from today. The ease in travel restrictions is largely applicable for most states, but local restrictions in some remain imposed.
Cities like Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington still have mask mandates, while Washington, Puerto Rico requires masks in the indoor public area. Cities like San Francisco and New York have vaccine requirements for indoor public spaces including restaurants.
Here are the guidelines issued for traveling to the United States
- Children aged 18 years or below are exempted from vaccination requirements. The full slate of air travel requirements is on the website.
- Airlines need to gather and verify all paper and digital documents proving the vaccination status of travelers. Passengers can also get their documents processed at the mobile apps of the airlines.
- Airlines that fail to verify traveler information could face fines of up to nearly $35,000 per violation
- Passengers need to go through CDC criteria for being fully vaccinated before booking tickets
- In addition to full vaccination status, passengers need a negative Covid019 test report as well.
- Testing is required for all fully-vaccinated air travelers regardless of their nationality.
- Passengers need to test negative for Covid-19 within three days of the departure of the flight for the United States.
- A limited number of unvaccinated international travelers exempted from vaccination requirements need to test within one day of departing or the US
- Custom and Border Protection is encouraging travelers to use CBP One app as an increase in the volume of travelers is expected at land and ferry crossings
- There will be CDC workers spot-checking travelers for compliance in the U.S. At land borders, Customs and Border Protection agents will check vaccine proof.Travelers are advised to keep their identification and vaccination documents ready.
- Vaccine cards need not be in English and travelers need to attach and attest the reason for their travel and be prepared to show proof of being fully vaccinated if a CBP officer requests so.
- There is no need to show Covid-19 test reports at land and ferry crossings.
All vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization that includes India’s AstraZenecaa, Moderna Johnson & Johnson, Covaxin, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, would be accepted for entry by air.