USA Relaxes Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Travellers from EU and UK

The U.S. has announced that the country's borders will be reopened soon. Currently, over 30 countries is barred from entry to the States. The ban is to be lifted this November.

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The United States of America will reopen the borders to foreign travelers coming from over 30 countries, including the Schengen Area members and a few more countries. Until now, most international passengers (non-U.S. nationals) who visited one of "the blacklisted" countries within the last 2 weeks have been barred from entering the U.S. This ban has also applied to the foreigners whose relatives or business contacts are residing in America.

The U.S. authorities have announced that the ban will be lifted in November 2021, after over a year of persistent strict COVID-related restrictions. The decision to relax the travel norms has met with an extremely positive reaction of many heads of state worldwide. Moreover, relaxing the travel norms in the U.S. can be the essential step to reinforce the pre-coronavirus international travels and boost the severely pandemic-stricken tourism industry.

New Entry Requirements

For the time being, those who have visited certain countries within the last 2 weeks are barred from entering the U.S. (with only a few particular exceptions). Among these countries are members of the EU, Schengen Area, and other nations like Iran, the UK, South Africa, and China. The new entry requirements to be introduced in November will include:

  • Vaccination certificate (confirming that a traveler has taken the full dose of the vaccination)
  • COVID-19 negative test result (taken 72 hours before a planned trip to the U.S)
  • After-arrival contact tracing 

Contact Tracing upon arrival in the U.S.

Apart from the vaccination proof, all passengers arriving in the States will be obliged to contact tracing. What does it mean in practice? All visitors will need to provide their contact details, like email address and phone number. These details will be used to reach a foreigner who has had contact with an infected person with COVID-19 during their stay in the U.S. The contact tracing is to minimize the risk of coronavirus spread and undertake protective measures, if necessary.

ESTA to the U.S.

All travelers cannot also forget about obtaining their electronic travel authorization. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) functions as a pre-screening system of all visitors to the U.S. Since 2009, all countries being members of the Visa Waiver Program can apply for ESTA instead of arranging a traditional visa at the American Embassy located in the traveler?s home country. An electronic visa is a very convenient solution for those who wish to make a business trip to the U.S. or explore the tourist attractions of the States. All applicants need to submit an online application at least 3 business days before the planned trip.

Other important information

  • Children who are not eligible for COVID-19 vaccination are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
  • There will be no quarantine requirement upon arrival.
  • The lift of the travel ban doesn?t apply to land travels from Mexico or Canada.
  • The exact date has not been determined yet. Nevertheless, the relaxing of travel norms is planned for early November.
  • Unvaccinated American citizens coming back to their home country will now need to show the COVID-19 test proof (negative result) as well as the purchase proof of a viral test that they will need to take upon arrival in the U.S.
  • All travelers will still need to obtain ESTA before a trip to the USA.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon announce the list of COVID-19 approved manufacturers. The list will be revealed before lifting the travel ban this November.
Katarzyna Żyła

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