Foreign travelers to the U.S. will need to be vaccinated and present a negative COVID test before entering starting Nov. 8

October 25, 2021, 8:30 PM UTC

The U.S. will require airlines to check whether a traveler has been vaccinated for COVID and tested negative before entering the country, the White House said Monday.

After about 21 months in which most international travelers were banned from visiting the U.S., the White House said earlier this month it would end those restrictions starting Nov. 8.

All noncitizens who are not immigrants will need to be inoculated with a Food and Drug Administration–approved or authorized vaccine or a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

Most non-U.S. citizens and nonimmigrants will need to show their vaccination status and a test taken within three days of their departure to be allowed entry into the country.

Children under 18 and people coming from a country with less than 10% of its population vaccinated due to lack of supply will not need to be vaccinated but will still need to present a negative COVID test. All unvaccinated passengers, including U.S. citizens who have not gotten the shot, will have to show a negative COVID test taken within one day of their departure.

According to the new rules, U.S. citizens are not required to be vaccinated but will need to present a negative test within a certain time frame depending on their vaccination status. Vaccinated citizens will need to show a negative test taken within three days of their departure date, while unvaccinated travelers will need a negative test taken within a day of their departure. Children under 2 years old will not require a test, the White House said.

To assist with contact tracing, any passenger to the U.S. will also be required to provide “basic, valid contact information” to airlines before entering the country.

“The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants is to act quickly to reduce the spread of infection through vaccination, layered with the additional mitigation measures—including vaccination for everyone who is eligible—and timely and effective case detection through testing, contact tracing, public health follow-up for all international travelers,” a senior White House official said in a briefing with reporters.

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