Travel.State.Gov: New Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S.
Updated Pre-departure Testing Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S.
Starting on December 6, air travelers aged two and older, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, are required to show documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of the flight’s departure to the United States before boarding. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight. That includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals.
If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country, and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please visit the CDC for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19, including types of accepted tests for all air passengers arriving in the United States.
Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions, including potential COVID vaccine or testing requirements for countries you are transiting through.
Updated Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S. due to COVID-19 and the Omicron Variant
On November 26, and at the advice of the President’s Chief Medical Advisor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration announced it will restrict travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe starting on November 29 due to concerns over the new Omicron variant. These travel restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and certain other categories of travelers. The full text of the Proclamation is available on the White House website. Travel Advisories for each of these countries are Level 4 – Do Not Travel – in line with CDC Travel Health Notifications (THNs) and given flight cancellations in some countries.
Please see the CDC website for further information on the Omicron Variant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order, which took effect November 8, 2021, requiring all non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the United States to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States remains in effect. Travelers should monitor the CDC website on international travel for the latest guidance regarding testing requirements.
Exceptions to the CDC Order requiring all air passengers to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States are extremely limited to the following groups:
- children under 18
- people medically unable to receive the vaccine
- emergency travelers who do not have timely access to a vaccine
Humanitarian exemptions to the CDC order are granted on an extremely limited basis.
For additional information, please visit our FAQs for answers to questions about the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.
The CDC recommends that you do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. International travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If you do travel, follow all CDC recommendations before, during, and after travel.
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