On Oct. 25, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation specifying that proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory for entry into the U.S. from abroad.
The proclamation will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Nov. 8, 2021.
What are the key points of the proclamation?
- COVID-19-related restrictions applying to air travel to the U.S. from specific countries have been lifted.
- Air travelers to the U.S. must now show proof of vaccination to board their flight to the U.S.
- This requirement applies in addition to the existing requirement to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight.
What COVID-related documentation do I need for air travel to the U.S.?
Effective Nov. 8, 2021, all individuals entering the U.S. by air must have the following when boarding their flight to the U.S.:
- Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19
- Accepted vaccines and types of documentation are listed on the CDC website.
- Travelers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their flight.
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the flight OR documentation of recovery from COVID-19. This is required for all travelers ages two and up.
Are there any exceptions to the COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements for air travel?
There are no exceptions to the negative COVID-19 test requirement for individuals older than two years of age.
The CDC lists some possible exceptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, including children under 18 years of age and individuals with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please note that individuals entering on an exception may be required to self-quarantine, self-isolate, receive a COVID-19 viral test, and/or agree to be vaccinated. The full list of exceptions and implications for these individuals can be found on the CDC website.
What if I am traveling to the U.S. by land, not air?
President Biden’s proclamation applies only to air travel. There is currently no vaccination requirement for entry by land. Entrance into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada via a land port of entry is allowed for “individuals traveling to attend educational institutions” and “individuals traveling to work in the United States.” However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for travel into the U.S. via land or ferry beginning in early January 2022.
COVID-19 vaccination requirement for entry into the U.S. (CDC)
COVID-19 test requirement for entry into the U.S. (CDC)
Statement regarding end of country-specific travel restrictions (U.S. Department of State)