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U.S. COVID-19 Travel Bans to be Rescinded and Replaced with Required Proof of Vaccination for International Travelers

On September 20, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that it would be easing travel restricting for international travelers entering the United States, beginning in early November. The rescinding of the ban affects a number of countries but includes China, Iran, the UK, South Africa, India, Brazil, and Ireland. However, in lieu of a ban being in place, the administration announced that they would now be requiring proof from travelers that they have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and they must also provide a negative COVID test within three days of boarding their flight to the United States. At this time, there has been no formal announcement of which vaccines would be accepted, however, the Biden administration has noted that they will be looking to the CDC to provide further guidance.  In addition, the White House announced that the CDC would be issuing a Contact Tracing Order which would require airlines to collect comprehensive contact information for everyone coming into the United States and report said information to the CDC upon who so that they may follow up with passengers who may have been exposed to COVID during their travels.

A limited number of exceptions will be made for certain individuals such as children, COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, and other humanitarian exceptions, but it should also be noted that for individuals who claim exemption from the vaccine, there may still be a requirement to become vaccinated on arrival.

Americans will still be strongly encouraged to follow the CDC’s recommendations against air travel if they have not been vaccinated. If said unvaccinated individuals travel and then return to the United Stated and are not full vaccinated will be required to provide a negative COVID test taken one day before their departure and provide proof that they have purchased a test to be taken upon their arrival. This is all in addition to the masking order being extended through January 18, 2022.

Our firm will provide updates as they become available.

By: Kristina M. Hernandez & Avery Krushall