New rules for entering the USA

The USA closed the borders to Europeans at the beginning of the Corona pandemic. Now the end of the travel ban has been announced by the American administration. From November, fully vaccinated people will be allowed to enter the country again. Despite the good news from the announcement, questions remain about the exact implementation.

In the coming days and weeks, the US government will provide concrete answers.

The following information is currently known:

Who will be allowed to re-enter the USA from November?

It is expected that with the introduction of the new entry regulations, all international travellers will be able to enter the USA again. The prerequisite, however, is a complete vaccination or recovery. The regulations will also apply to travellers from Schengen Area countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, China (incl. Hong Kong and Macau), India and Iran.

Key point vaccination – Which vaccines will be recognised?

So far, there is no precise information on which vaccines are recognised for entry. Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like to follow the WHO standards, it can be assumed that the following vaccines will probably be accepted:

  • BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson&Johnson
  • AstraZeneca


Can I enter the country as an unvaccinated person?

Unvaccinated persons may still enter the country, but they are subject to stricter testing requirements. In addition to a negative test one day before entering the United States, another negative test must be taken after arrival in the United States.

It is not yet clear whether the regulations will also apply to green card or visa holders. Whether unvaccinated international travellers will still be allowed to enter the country with a National Interest Exception (NIE) is also currently unclear.


Will there also be compulsory testing for vaccinated persons?

The obligation to present a negative COVID-19 test, which has been in place since January 2021, will also remain in place. In addition to their proof of vaccination or recovery, those entering the USA must present a negative test that is no more than 72 hours old.


What are the entry requirements for children?

It is not yet clear whether or at what age children will be exempt from the vaccination requirement. Exemptions are possible, but they would require stricter testing requirements. In principle, the US authorities advise against planning family trips for the time being.


When will I be allowed to enter the USA again?

According to the current state of knowledge, it can be assumed that the new entry regulations will apply from the beginning or middle of November. However, a concrete date for the announced relaxation has not yet been set.

In addition, the US government is said to be planning to introduce a new contact tracing procedure alongside the new entry regulations. Airlines will henceforth be subject to the obligation to document telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of US travellers.


A note to our clients:

The situation in the USA continues to be very dynamic and unsettled. We are following the developments around the United States very closely and will inform you accordingly. We will be happy to answer any questions our clients may have at this time.

Are you planning a stay in the USA? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our competent team will be happy to assist you with your travel plans.


Source: US Consular Information / Partner Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm

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