US to Ease Travel Restrictions on Fully Vaccinated Foreign Visitors
On October 15, White House officials announced that the Biden administration will lift travel restrictions for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on November 8, 2021, including for travelers from countries subject to the geographical travel bans (Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom). The CDC’s guidance considers people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Additionally, if you have received a vaccine listed for emergency use by the WHO (example, AstraZeneca) the CDC also considers you fully vaccinated. Initially, reports predict that the exceptions to the vaccine requirement will be very limited (possibly for children, vaccine trial participants, and those who genuinely lack access to the vaccine). The government’s guidance for foreign travelers significantly trends towards receiving the vaccine in almost all cases—without proof of full vaccination, the traveler will likely be barred from entry.
Importantly, the government has not released exacting details about the requirements, so their guidance is subject to further specification and change. Our firm will continue to provide updates as they are released. In the meantime, do note that travelers subject to the geographical travel bans who seek to return to the United States before November 8, 2021 will still require a National Interest Exception (NIE) or a 14-day quarantine in a third country. The CDC requirement that travelers show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel will remain in effect.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **