usa reopening borders

U.S. To End Covid Rules And Allow Unvaccinated Travelers From May 11

The United States is open to tourists from all countries but a vaccine requirement is required for most international visitors.

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May 2 – US to Scrap COVID-Vaccination Requirements to enter the country for all international travelers

As per a recent announcement by the United States Government, COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international travelers and federal workers will be lifted on May 11. 

When the public health emergency expires next week, the mandate associated with the coronavirus will be lifted, according to President Joe Biden and his administration’s health officials.

As reported by According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, non-citizens entering the country through land ports and ferries will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID -19 beginning May 12.

April 13: Biden Ends Covid National Emergency But Unvaccinated Travel Remains Banned

The White House announced that President Joe Biden has signed a bill to terminate the national emergency related to Covid-19 on Monday.

However, this termination will not affect the separate public health emergency which is scheduled to end on May 11. A White House official stated that the end of the national emergency will not disrupt the orderly winding down of authorities.

That being said, the bill won’t affect the ban on unvaccinated travelers to the U.S. until at least May 11.

The bill was passed with a bipartisan 68-23 vote in the Senate last month and was approved by the House earlier this year, with 11 Democrats voting in favor of the joint resolution.

April 3 – The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution formally declaring an end to the COVID-19 national emergency.

A GOP-led resolution to end the COVID-19 national emergency that has been in effect since 2020 was approved by the Senate on Wednesday. 

The upper chamber approved the proposal by a vote of 68 to 23. The Senate last year approved an identical measure sponsored by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), but the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives rejected it. 

This year, the House approved it by a vote of 229 to 197, with 11 Democrats voting with all Republicans. Last year, President Biden threatened to veto the bill. 

Instead of threatening a veto this year, he spoke out against the proposal in a policy statement before the House vote. 

On Wednesday, however, he said he would sign the bill. The national emergency will end then on May 11.

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
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability (See list for updates effective June 28, 2022)
  • 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.

Some of the current carrier flying from Europe to the U.S.

U.S. reopening borders for tourism - travel restrictions
  • Lufthansa  United 
  • Air Europa 
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Air France
  • Alitalia, Delta Operated by Alitalia CityLiner
  • Delta
  • 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
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
US reopening for tourism - Travel restrictions

US reopening borders for tourism: Update Archives

March 23 – The US health system will undergo big changes once the Covid emergency is over.

The decision by the Biden administration to formally end the covid-19 public health emergency in May will result in significant systemic changes that go far beyond the fact that many people will now pay extra for covid testing. For illustration:

Training Rules for Nursing Home Staff Get Stricter

Nursing facilities will need to uphold stricter standards for employee training once the emergency is over.

Treatment Threatened for People Recovering From Addiction

The Drug Enforcement Administration stated that during the public health emergency, medical professionals could prescribe specific banned medications remotely or over the phone without first conducting an in-person medical evaluation. Such practice will be over. 

March 8 – U.S. Will Scrap Covid Testing Requirement for Travelers From China

According to a person familiar with the plan, the Biden administration on Friday will abandon the requirement that visitors from China show a negative Covid 19 test before entering the country.

The decision to ease the ban was made as a once-huge viral wave in China began to subside and after other nations announced they were easing their own travel restrictions on Chinese citizens.

Scientists were virtually forced to infer the scale and severity of the outbreak, which began in December by filtering through claims on social media and other uncertain sources of information. 

February 21 – New York State to scrap requirement that masks be worn in hospitals

Health officials stated last week that New York State will no longer mandate masks to be worn in healthcare facilities including hospitals and nursing homes as of last week.

Following that, these establishments will be able to establish their own masking policies. The action harmonizes state policy with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which in September repealed the federal rule requiring masks in healthcare institutions.

Dr. James McDonald, the state’s acting health commissioner, said in a statement that “The pandemic is not over, yet we are moving to a transition.” He mentioned that it had been three years after the first Covid-19 case was discovered in New York on March 1.

The public hospital system in New York City will keep requiring that masks be worn inside of its buildings, an official said in a statement.

February 8: U.S. House Votes To Eliminate Covid Vaccine Mandates For Visitors

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would remove the requirement for most foreign travelers coming to the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It doesn’t mean travelers can now enter without a vaccine, the bill still needs to pass through the Senate and Biden for approval.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently mandates that all adult travelers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must provide proof of COVID vaccination prior to their flight. The bill was passed on Wednesday with a vote of 227-201, with seven Democrats aligning with Republicans in favor of the legislation.

February 6: U.S. to vote to end COVID vaccine mandate for foreign air travelers

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote this week on a bill to end the vaccine requirement for most foreign air travelers. The Biden administration dropped the COVID-19 test requirement but has not lifted the vaccine requirement from the CDC. The vaccine requirement applies to adult non-citizen/resident visitors to the U.S., with some exceptions. The measure to end the requirement was introduced by Republican Representative Thomas Massie.

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.

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. 

November 30: Biden signed a declaration to adopt vaccine passports with other leaders at the G20 summit

On November 21, 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:

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.”

The CDC will review the number of severe cases and hospital capacity rather before making a final decision.
Also read: More US States Lifting Mask Mandates as COVID-19 Drops

January 15 – The US issues a “Do-not-travel” notice against Canada and Singapore

The CDC has issued the highest travel health advisory to Canada, Singapore and Curaçao due to the high incidence in COVID-19 cases in the previous week. 

The CDC currently lists about 80 destinations throughout the world as Level Four.

Canadian health officials forecast the Omicron wave peak at 170,000 cases a day this month, with 2,000 hospitalizations also per day.

The CDC will revisit this travel advice on Monday. 

Read our full post: CDC Warns Americans Against Travel to Canada

December 22 – US considers lifting travel ban on Southern African countries

The US is reportedly considering lifting its ban on Southern African countries over the next few days.

According to the government, “we’re letting in people from other countries that have as much or more infection than the Southern African countries.”

“We likely are going to pull back on that pretty soon because we have enough infection in our own country,” said Dr. Fauci at the National Press Club.

In less than three weeks, the Omicron variant already accounts for over 73% of the new infections in the U.S. said the CDC on Monday. (Source:

December 4 – The US government tightens travel restrictions for all travelers 

All international arrivals are now required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 1 day of departure.

“Our doctors believe tightening testing requirements for pre-departure will help catch more cases, potential cases of people who may be positive and inside the country,” a White House official said.

Also, domestic travelers using all types of public transportation such as trains, cruise ships or domestic flights will have to wear a face mask at all times or face fines of up to USD 3,000. 

Read our full post: U.S. Announces New Travel Restrictions for All International Visitors

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 – 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.

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:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • AstraZeneca, including Covishield
  • Sinopharm (Beijing)
  • Sinovac

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.

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.

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.  

Source: Reuters

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.

Source: Reuters

September 21 – The U.S. to reopen for vaccinated EU and other travelers in November, says government

Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, announced that the U.S. will reopen to visitors from the European Union in “early November.”

Additionally, fully vaccinated travelers from other 33 countries including China, India and Brazil will also be allowed to come back. 

“We will move to this much stricter global system, so we will have a consistent approach across all countries,” Zients said.

Visitors will need to present proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test. 


September 10 – Nine EU countries have reimposed entry restrictions for American travelers in the last 10 days

On August 31, the European Council recommended removing the U.S. from the “save travel list.” Since then, 11 European countries have taken a stand on the U.S. situation.

As of today, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and France have enforced additional entry restrictions for Americans.

Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic and France not only increased their restrictions but also completely barred the unvaccinated. 

Sweden and Bulgaria have indefinitely closed their borders to all U.S. arrivals. Croatia, Portugal and Ireland will remain open.

Read our full article: Which EU Countries are Open, Closed to American Visitors

August 31 – U.S. Updates Travel Advisory For Canada, Puerto Rico and Other Countries

Seven countries were moved up to Level 4 travel warning since they surpassed the limit of 500 new cases per 100,000 population over the last 28 days. 

The affected countries this time were Switzerland, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Laos and Estonia due to their COVID-19 reports; and Oman and Azerbaijan because of raising concerns about terrorism.

Additionally, other 12 countries were moved up or down to the Level 3 travel advisory (high level of COVID). 

Some of them because of their improvements in the fight against the pandemic, and some others like Canada and Germany because their efforts are not producing the expected results.

Source: TravelOffPath

August 19 – U.S. officials and border mayors demand the White House to reopen international borders

A number of U.S. officials and border mayors are joining forces to request the White House to lift the travel restriction that has been in place for 18 months severely affecting their local economies. 

A few weeks ago, Washington announced it will maintain restrictions on multiple countries and territories including the EU and China for the time being.

“The ultimate goal is to look for easing of restrictions on nonessential travel,” as well as the “specifics on what we can, need or must do to achieve that.” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. 

The government has not replied yet.

Source: CNN

August 5 – the US works on a plan to request all international travelers to be fully vaccinated 

The U.S. is reportedly putting in place a new system requiring all international arrivals to be fully vaccinated so they can be allowed to travel into the country, a White House official told Reuters. 

“With limited exceptions (…) all foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated,” said the official.

He also added that “working groups” are getting ready for “when the time is right to transition to this new system.” However, the date when this plan will be set into motion was not released.

Source: Reuters

August 5 – the US works on a plan to request all international travelers to be fully vaccinated 

The U.S. is reportedly putting in place a new system requiring all international arrivals to be fully vaccinated so they can be allowed to travel into the country, a White House official told Reuters. 

“With limited exceptions (…) all foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated,” said the official.

He also added that “working groups” are getting ready for “when the time is right to transition to this new system.” However, the date when this plan will be set into motion was not released.

Source: Reuters

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.

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.

Read our full post: U.K. drops quarantine for fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 2

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.”

Source: TD News

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).

Source: Reuters

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.

(Source: Business Travel News)

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.

(Source: Reuters)

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)