The White House announced a new policy to lift the regional COVID travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Although an exact date has not yet been provided, the new policy is expected to officially take effect in November 2021.
Currently, COVID related travel restrictions exist for foreign nationals entering the U.S. from 33 different countries, including China, India, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area. The bans suspend entry for foreign national travelers who were physically present in any of the 33 countries during the 14-day period prior to their entry into the U.S. Those subject to the restrictions are required to obtain travel waivers (national interest exemptions or “NIE”) or quarantine in a third country before entering the U.S.
Under the new policy, fully vaccinated international air travelers from the previously restricted areas will be allowed to enter the U.S. using a valid travel document with proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID test taken within 3 days (or documentation of recent COVID recovery). It is important to note that the new vaccination requirement is in addition to, and is not replacing, the existing COVID test requirement. Until the new policy takes effect, foreign nationals traveling from one of the restricted countries remain subject to the NIE requirement, unless otherwise exempt.