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Updated 23 July 2021

After a long period of hiatus due to the raging pandemic, the travel industry is gearing up for a return to small normalcy with borders reopening, easing of quarantine requirements, and the creation of travel bubbles. Travelers around the world are now keen to find out if, when, and where they can travel abroad. Can anyone travel to the USA now?

New Travel Requirements

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have either of the two before they board a flight to the United States-

  • negative COVID-19 result from a test taken not more than 3 days before the date of travel
  • documentation of recovery from COVID-19, i.e proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Rapid tests are also acceptable as long as they are viral tests. This includes:

  • reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
  • transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)
  • nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR)
  • helicase-dependent amplification (HDA)

The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered.

The test result must be in the form of written documentation, either on printed paper or as an electronic copy.


Can vaccinated Americans travel?

Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may indeed travel internationally as per the CDC’s guidelines. Vaccinated Americans may also travel without getting a COVID-19 test unless it is required by the international destination. They also aren’t required to undertake self-quarantine upon returning to the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.

However, vaccinated Americans must still have a negative COVID-19 test result before they board a flight to the United States and get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after returning from international travel and must continue to observe COVID-19 precautions while traveling internationally.

As to where vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel, there has been some encouraging news. The European Union may soon allow vaccinated Americans to enter EU territories while being granted ‘free movement and travel.‘ Additionally, there are international destinations allowing vaccinated travellers to enter their borders for non-essential travels. You can find the complete list of destinations here.

The USA Travel Department has published a travel advisory list, with country-specific recommendations for travel. Click here to know more.


Who can travel to the USA?

Countries banned by the USA

The CDC page stated that foreign national who have spent the last 14 days in the following countries may not enter the United States:

  • China
  • Iran
  • European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City)
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Brazil
  • South Africa
  • India

Exceptions may apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families.

It is recommended to check the country-specific travel advisory before planning your trip to the States.

Mexico and Canada land borders

On March 18, POTUS Joe Biden announced that the restrictions on United States-Canada and United States-Mexico land ports of entry will be extended to 21 August.

This applies to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel, but not to air, freight rail, or sea travel.

Travel for work will be allowed as “essential”, while travel for tourism, being “non-essential” is strictly prohibited.


Do I need to quarantine if I travel to the USA?

As per CDC’s latest update, vaccinated travelers and returning Americans are not required to quarantine on coming to the USA. CDC also states “that every state is different, and that people are encouraged to look into their local state mandates and laws before travelling”.

However, it is recommended that you get tested and stay home, and isolate after travel.

After travel information for unvaccinated people

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t want to get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

After travel information for fully vaccinated people

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

After travel information for people who have recently recovered

If you have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the last 3 months, then:

  • You must follow the requirements and recommendations applicable to fully vaccinated travellers
  • However, you need not get tested 3-5 days after travel, unless symptomatic.

Some other states either require all out-of-state visitors to self-isolate for 14 days or present a negative test result, or do not have a strict quarantine mandate. For more information, please consult each state’s health department websites.
In conjunction with the nationwide regulations, state-imposed and local recommendations and rules must be followed.


Are there flights to the USA now?

Yes, flights to the United States are now easily available.

Most airports in the country are now operational, so you’ll be able to fly into the USA from any corner of the world.

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