The U.S. has been making progress in easing border restrictions for the last couple of months. First, with vaccinated travelers arriving by air and then at our land borders. Now, we’re poised to launch a new travel system on November 8, 2021 that effectively reopens the country completely to international visitors – so long as you’re fully vaxxed. 

New Procedure for International Visitors

There’s been a travel ban in place for many countries since near the beginning of the pandemic. Beginning on November 8, the fully vaccinated will be permitted entry regardless of country of origin. Those travelers who are not vaccinated will be expected to provide a negative test within one day of their arrival (a tighter turnaround than the current 3-day requirement). 

The new system also creates challenges for unvaccinated Americans attempting reentry. Fully vaccinated Americans will still need to provide a test within 3 days of arrival, but unvaccinated Americans will also be required to submit to the test within a day of arrival. 

The Biden administration cites the “strict safety protocols” and a strategy that follows the science of public health to protect Americans and foreign travelers alike as the reasoning behind the new procedure. 

Unvaccinated Children Exemption

The only exceptions made for foreign travelers are for unvaccinated children traveling with vaccinated parents or guardians. The government has also carved out exceptions for travelers who might suffer from anaphylactic reactions to vaccine, and travelers from countries unable to meet a 10% vaccination threshold. These countries have not been able to meet this metric due to lack of vaccine availability. Currently, there are about 50 countries that fall under this umbrella. 

Travelers who can provide evidence of recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days.

Travelers arriving from either Canada or Mexico at land crossings will be given until January to provide proof of full vaccination. This policy allows family members and business people to continue their border crossings while easing into the more strict policy put in place for nonessential travel.

The End of Quarantine Mandates

Quarantine will no longer be a part of the protocols, but inbound airlines will still require masks. The airlines will keep passenger lists for 30 days so health officials can follow up in case of exposure. 

How do you feel about the new policy? Will it impact you or your plans? If you are more or less likely to travel under the new rules, we’d love to hear. Likewise, will this new set of rules help friends or family visit you? Let us know in the comments below!


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