New international air travel orders from the Biden administration | Effective November 8, 2021
Below is more detailed information along with a web link to the order and the CDC's website. One important detail to note: these changes primarily affect unvaccinated Americans traveling internationally. If you are vaccinated, the current Covid testing requirements remain the same (must return with negative Covid test within 3 days of a flight to the U.S.) however, you are now required to travel with your white vaccine card.
If you are not vaccinated, the testing window has been decreased to one day. The change from three-day to one day isn't a huge difference and I don't anticipate it will have a huge impact on unvaccinated travelers. Most travelers end up testing the day before departure anyway. At least that has been my experience. However, it's important to plan ahead for this new requirement. The CDC has approved a proctored, self-test that is very convenient. You can find more information and order this test here. There is a short blog post here, on my website, with my personal experience using this test kit here.
The first order is a vaccination requirement for non-citizens who are not immigrants. On November 8th, air travelers to the United States who are non-citizens and who are not immigrants will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status prior to flying to the United States.
The airlines will verify vaccination status in the same way they have been and will continue to do with the proof of a pre-departure negative test result.
For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines will be accepted that include the FDA-approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listed vaccines.
There will be very limited exceptions to the vaccination requirements for non-citizens who are not immigrants. CDC has determined a very narrow list of exemptions, including children under 18 and those countries with less than a 10 percent total vaccination rate due to lack of availability of vaccines.
The next order after the vaccination order is an amendment to the testing requirement for all air travelers to the United States, regardless of citizenship.
Fully vaccinated air passengers entering the United States internationally, regardless of citizenship, will continue to be required to show a pre-departure negative COVID test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding.
For those vaccinated persons, they will be required to show proof of vaccination to qualify for this three-day testing window.
However, for unvaccinated air passengers, including unvaccinated U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, the rules will now require a test within one day of departure to the United States. Children under two years old do not need to test. There are also accommodations for people who have a documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days with respect to the testing requirement.
The third and final order is for the collection of contact information. Air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide basic, valid contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States.
This will allow airlines to better coordinate with public health agencies, to share information when needed, to keep the public safe and informed, and strengthen their ability to rapidly identify and contact people in the United States who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19.
In addition to these orders, all travelers need to plan ahead before travel. Follow all airline and destination requirements, including mask-wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine. U.S. travelers will need to be prepared to show proof of a negative test before they’re able to travel to the United States and should make arrangements for testing in advance of travel if possible.
Vaccinated U.S. travelers will need to carry and provide proof of their vaccination to the airlines to qualify for the three-day testing window. Otherwise, a one-day test will be required.
Official Order can be found here.
Updated information on the CDC's website
If you have any questions feel free to contact me for clarification. email@example.com or