January 20: Increased pressure on Covid mandates in Florida State
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently proposed a bill that would impose penalties on businesses that mandate their employees to wear masks or receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Additionally, the bill includes a provision that prohibits medical boards from disciplining doctors who disseminate false information about the virus.
The proposal would continue to prohibit vaccine and mask requirements in schools, government, employment, or for travel.
The Governor also wants to expand the sanctions on businesses by prohibiting employers from hiring or firing based on vaccine status or wearing a mask.
January 5: TSA extends ban on unvaccinated travel to USA
U.S. Government (TSA) extends the vaccine mandate for international traveling into the USA until at least April 10, 2023.
December 17: Congress clears military bill repealing vaccine mandate for troops
No information about the vaccine mandate for U.S. visitors was given at these recent press conferences.
How can unvaccinated travel to the U.S.?
The only way unvaccinated travelers can visit the U.S. is to meet one of the exceptions. You can find all the details about exceptions on the C.D.C website.
Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
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)
U.S. Reopening FAQs
Do you need a vaccine to cross the US land border?
Yes, U.S. requires proof of a Covid vaccine for land border crossinngs until at least January 8.
Do you need a Covid-19 test to enter the United States?
No, the testing required to enter the U.S. was dropped in June 2022 for all travelers entering.
Is the U.S. for tourism from all countries?
Yes, the U.S. is fully open for regular tourism but the Covid-19 vaccine is still required.
When will the U.S. allow unvaccinated travelers?
The United States is still requiring Covid vaccine from non-US travelers and TSA has recently extended the mandate until at least January 8.
Even tho Covid restrictions and requirements are slowly losing importance around the world, there are more than 100 countries that still require Covid vaccines or tests for travel, and the U.S. is one of them.
November 2: Puerto Rico Officials scrap COVID-19-related domestic restrictions as of Oct. 31
Puerto Rican officials just lifted the island’s COVID-19-related domestic regulations as of Oct. 31. Facemasks are no longer necessary for attendees at events with more than 1,000 participants. Additionally, event goers are no longer needed to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result upon admittance.
Travelers must continue to adhere to the federal regulations for travel from countries other than the United States and its territories. Nonresident foreign nationals aged 18 and up must be properly vaccinated before flying into Puerto Rico. Vaccination is not required for children under the age of 18, and it is not required for air travel from the mainland United States.
October – The United States, the last North American country requesting proof of vaccination
The United States is officially the last North American country to prevent unvaccinated travelers from entering the country.
As of today, visitors to the United States must present proof of a COVI-19 vaccination certificate to be allowed entry.
Over the past two years, the U.S. has banned travelers from the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil from entering the country at various times.
But while it was once supported by its best allies, notably Canada, it now stands alone in its quest for Covid security.
June – US Lifts Covid-19 Testing for International Travelers
Travelers to the United States are no longer required to submit a negative Covid 19 test taken within one day prior to departure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated on Friday that this requirement would be removed beginning early Sunday morning. The health service stated that it will continue to monitor the pandemic’s progress and reevaluate the need for testing if the situation changes.
“This step is possible because of the progress we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19,” said the U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra.
How safe is it to travel to the States at the moment?
As of October 5, the U.S. has recorded 98,308,956 cases and 1,085,366 the highest death toll in the world.
Some of the current carrier flying from Europe to the U.S.
Royal Air Maroc
Alitalia, Delta Operated by Alitalia CityLiner
KLM, Delta Virgin Atlantic
Lufthansa, Air Canada 0perated by Air Canada Express – Sky Regional
Lufthansa, Air Canada operated by Air Canada Express – Jazz
Lufthansa, United operated by Mesa Airlines DBA United Express
Tap Air Portugal
US reopening borders for tourism: Update Archives
December 8: House passes defense bill scrapping military’s Covid vaccine mandate
November 30: Biden signed a declaration to adopt vaccine passports with other leaders at the G20 summit
On November 21, thecentersquare.com reported that President Biden signed a declaration to adopt vaccine passports for international travel. Declaration was signed at the G20 summit in Bali along with other world leaders. This fact doesn’t suggest any plans to drop U.S. vaccine requirements in the near future.
November 10: TSA extended the vaccine mandate for non-US visitors
On November 7, the U.S. extended vaccine mandate for travelers until January 8. All non-US visitors still need to show a proof of the full vaccination against Covid-19. (Source: precisionvaccinations.com)
September – US still requires Covid vaccine from non-US citizens
As of September 19, proof of Covid vaccination is still required for entry into the United States for all non-US citizens. There is no recent update from the government on when they are planning to drop this requirement.
February 18 – The CDC considers lifting indoor mask-wearing mandate across the US
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director may recommend the US to lift the need to wear face coverings in indoor settings, said CDC Head Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a White House briefing.
“We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when these metrics are better, and then have the ability to reach for them again should things worsen.”
November 28 – The U.S. to ban all travel from South Africa and other 7 countries from Monday
The U.S. will ban travel from South Africa and other seven countries starting Monday as a new heavily mutated coronavirus variant emerges, announced White House officials on Friday.
Other countries included in the restriction are Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
National and residents are allowed to come back.
“As we move forward,” said the President in a statement, “we will continue to be guided by what the science and my medical team advises.”
November 21 – The U.S. makes booster shots available to all people 18 and above
With an increasing number of countries requiring passengers to provide proof of booster shots to give them access to a number of tourist venues, the U.S.’s move to make booster doses available for most citizens brings relief for international travelers.
“Based on the compelling evidence, all adults over 18 should now have equitable access to a COVID-19 booster dose,” says the CDC.
Despite the fact that more than 195 million Americans are fully vaccinated, Covid cases are on the rise in some locations as vaccine effectiveness declines over time.
The Pfizer booster dose was found to be 95 percent effective in a clinical trial involving 10,000 people aged 16 and up.
November 13 – Travelers experiencing long wait times at U.S. airports
Following the reopening on Nov. 8, large numbers of overseas travelers have begun to arrive in American airports.
Although this is wonderful news for families and the tourism sector, 21 months of closure did not seem to be enough time for American airports to prepare for such a large influx of passengers all at once.
Thousands of travelers have complained about having to wait over two hours to get through customs. Things are expected to worsen as the Christmas holidays approach.
“The expectation is that we could see wait times of up to eight hours,” said Sherry Stein, the leader (SITA).
November 5 – The U.S. to welcome EU travelers as soon as ports of entry open on Nov. 8
Beginning Monday, the United States will drop entrance restrictions for vaccinated EU and Asian travelers, putting an end to historic restrictions that have kept the country partially isolated from the rest of the world for almost 21 months.
According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. will reopen its air and land borders as soon as ports of entry start operations on Nov. 8
That means that border crossings that are open 24 hours a day will accept international travelers from midnight, while the rest will open during regular business hours.
October 15 – U.S. Government announces the reopening date for the European Union
White House has confirmed the reopening date for international tourism, current travel curbs will be lifted on November 8. Both land and air borders will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers.
Non-vaccinated air travelers will be also able to enter but they will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
The ban on non-vaccinated travelers will still remain in place on the Mexican and Canadian land borders.
October 20 – The U.S. is set to reopen land borders with Canada and Mexico in “early November”
The U.S. land borders, which have been shut down since March 2020, will reopen to Canadian and Mexican visitors at some point in November as long as they can prove they are fully vaccinated.
“We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner,” Homeland Security Secretary said in a statement.
Essential travelers such as truck commercial drivers, students, and other essential personnel will have until January to present their vaccine certificates.
October 10 – U.S. Reveals the vaccines it will accept for EU travelers
There was a lot of uncertainty over which brand of vaccines the US would accept as a valid entry requirement for EU travelers, once it open its borders.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed the country will accept the following:
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
AstraZeneca, including Covishield
The CDC also informed that more information will be released as soon as the travel protocols are completed.
The reopening date has not been announced yet.
October 2 – US, Canada, UK, and other G7 leaders met to discuss the future of international travel
Transport and health ministers of Canada, Germany, the U.K, the U.S, Japan, Italy, and France virtually met to discuss the future of international travel on Thursday.
Among other things, the U.S. committed to a number of principles “for a safe and sustainable reopening of travel.” These include trusting scientific evidence, accepting both digital and non-digital test and vaccine passports, protecting users’ private data, and supporting cleaner technologies for land, air, and maritime transport.
Sept. 24 – The U.S. lifts the ban on European Travel but reopening date remains unknown
This week, the U.S. announced that its long ban on European travel will end in “early November”. But so far, they haven’t provided an exact reopening date yet.
The head of the White House’s COVID-19 Response Team, Jeff Zients, said that all travelers must be fully vaccinated, no exceptions.
The CDC will order commercial airlines to collect information from U.S.-bound visitors including their phone number and email address to act as a “public health surveillance system.”
More information about the date and the requirements is expected to be revealed over the next few weeks.
September 16 – The U.S. works on a “new system for international travel” aiming to reopen borders
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday the country is working on a “new system for international travel” that will include contract tracing for international visitors when the country lifts its travel ban.
The government aims to replace the current restrictions with a “safer, stronger, and sustainable” system.
The official did not reveal when the new system will be put into motion or the metrics it will use.
July 30 – Fully vaccinated Americans will be able to resume travel with the U.K. on August 2, but U.S. remains closed due to a delta variant and a surge in cases
While the U.S. continues to be closed for half of the world due to a surge in Covid cases, more countries have been adding it to the list of allowed visitors.
Effective August 2, double-vaccinated Americans and residents will be allowed to travel to the U.K. without quarantine.
There is a catch. Americans should’ve been vaccinated in the U.S. or in one EU country.
Although these travelers no longer need to quarantine, they will still be required to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test before boarding and take another one on the second day of their stay in England.
This scheme does not apply to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for now.
July 16 – The U.S. borders will not reopen for EU or other travelers for the time being
“It defies logic. It defies science. It defies fact,” Democratic Representative of New York, Brian Higgins told CNN, regarding the lack of transparency about the U.S. international borders reopening.
Another White official said that European Union, United Kingdom, Canadian and Mexican task groups have met with their American counterparts to discuss the aspects that would allow them to safely reopen the country.
However, another White House official told Reuters that “the Biden Administration is not in a rush to lift travel restrictions soon.”
July 9 – The U.S. can’t put a date on the international borders reopening, says government
The U.S. is unable to put a date on international travel reopening according to a White House official who spoke to Reuters on July 7.
“There are further discussions to be had before we can announce any next steps on travel reopening with any country,” said the official.
This is the second time in less than 2 weeks that a Biden’s administration official speaks about the impossibility to determine when the country will reopen for tourism.
On June 25, the US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also told reporters they could not give an approximate date and that everything will “have to be guided by the science and by medical expertise.”
As of today, Schengen area residents who are not American citizens are only allowed if traveling under the National Interest Exception (NIE).
June 25 – U.S. to resume international tourism after September 6, said U.S. Commerce Secretary
The long-awaited reopening to EU tourists may be about to be over.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has stated the country is actively seeking to open travel bubbles with key partners so they can resume international travel soon.
Although not a specific date was announced, Raimondo mentioned Labor Day, which is celebrated on September 6, as the potential date for free foreign travel.
“I’m hopeful that post-Labor Day we will see a nice uptick in business travel and international travel” […] “I can promise that getting business travel and international travel going again is a top priority,” said Raimondo.
June 9 – U.S. to form task groups with Canada, Mexico, the EU and the U.K. to create a strategy to safely reopen borders soon
Multiple EU countries expected President Joe Biden’s announcement about the U.S. border reopening during his visit to the U.K. for the very first G7 summit of his administration.
But instead, the White house has issued a statement informing the country will not reopen just yet.
“While we are not reopening travel today, we hope that these expert working groups will help us use our collective expertise to chart a path forward, with a goal of reopening international travel with our key partners when it is determined that it is safe to do so,” reads the statement.
For now, the U.S. will form task groups with Canada, Mexico, the EU and the U.K to find the safest way to start international travel.
May 24 – The U.S. has not decided yet whether they will reopen to Europeans or not this summer
On May 19, all E.U. members agreed to welcome back Americans from June. E.U. countries can still enforce extra testing or quarantine requirements, but in principle, all vaccinated Americans will be allowed to visit Europe for tourism again.
Unfortunately, on the other side of the Atlantic things seem to be different. Biden administration has been reportedly holding meetings and contacting tourism industry leaders but reopening decisions have not been made yet.
Last week, White House spokesman Jen Psaki stated that no changes on current travel restrictions have been planned thus far when asked if the U.S. would allow vaccinated travelers to visit America Again. (Source: Reuters)