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The U.S. Is Lifting Its Travel Ban. Who Is Allowed to Visit?

  • September 23, 2021

A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that the agency is still in the “regulatory process,” but said that people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson Johnson vaccine. Vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as AstraZeneca and Oxford, will also be valid, the C.D.C. said.

The new policy applies to everyone who is not a U.S. citizen, including individuals from Japan, Singapore, Mexico and many other countries whose citizens have been able to fly to the United States throughout the pandemic. Though vaccination status does not currently affect whether or not these individuals can enter the United States, in November only fully vaccinated travelers will be permitted.

Already these individuals have to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of boarding a flight. This requirement will remain.

The policy applies to all “foreign nationals,” meaning that long-term residents of the United States who are not American citizens would not be able to leave the country and then re-enter unless they are fully vaccinated.

The vaccination stipulation does not apply to U.S. citizens. But the new policy does require unvaccinated Americans to provide proof of a negative result from a test taken within one day of their return flight to the United States, and to test again after they land.

Most countries that currently require vaccination for entry make exceptions for children too young to be vaccinated. It seems likely that the United States will do the same, but the White House declined to comment on specifics of this policy. It is not yet clear what other exceptions will be made.

People flying from Canada and Mexico will face the same restrictions as people flying in from other countries: They must be fully vaccinated, obtain a negative coronavirus test and provide personal information for contact tracing. Currently, the land borders with Canada and Mexico are closed for all but essential travel, a policy that is expected to remain in place until at least Oct. 21.

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