The United States is taking new steps to ease Covid travel restrictions that have been in place since early 2020. Over the past week, there have been press reports regarding travel from Mexico and Canada as well as the end of Covid travel bans for 35 countries around the world. The Biden Administration has not yet published the official policy announcements for these changes. We will update you further when any of the details change once the official language is published.
Canada and Mexico:
Travelers coming by land or ferry:
Beginning in November, travel restrictions will largely disappear at US land and ferry ports of entry for all travelers who have been vaccinated. Unvaccinated non-essential travelers will continue to face restrictions on entering. Beginning in January those not previously banned (such as commercial drivers and students) will need to be vaccinated in order to enter the US.
Press reports indicate that the initial changes will become effective on November 8, 2021, but the January date has not yet been announced.
Travelers coming by air
Persons traveling to the US by air from Mexico or Canada will need to show a negative Covid test taken within three days of entering the US in addition to their vaccination records.
The precise date the rules will change for non-essential travelers is not yet known. Nor has the government released details on which vaccines will be acceptable or what documentation will be needed.
Other countries subject to travel bans:
The travel bans impacting travel from the Schengen zone, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Brazil, India, Iran and China will be lifted as of November 8th and will be replaced by a vaccination requirement that will be applicable to all non-US citizens and non-permanent residents who travel to the US from abroad. There are vaccine exemptions for children.
Accepted vaccines will include FDA approved or authorized vaccines and World Health Organization Emergency Use listed vaccines. Details on which vaccines are acceptable can be found at When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated | CDC.
Notably, some popular vaccines like CanSino from China and Sputnik from Russia are not on the WHO emergency use list, though the President of Mexico has indicated that approval of these vaccines is being sought.
In addition, all vaccinated travelers entering the US by air (including US citizens, permanent residents and children age 2 or older) must provide a negative COVID PCR test taken within the 3-day period prior to flying. Unvaccinated US citizens and permanent residents will be required to show a negative COVID PCR test taken within 24 hours of travel to the US.
As soon as we have more concrete dates and details for North American land travel, we will update. We are always available for questions.