U.S announces details on new travel requirements and exemptions from Nov. 8 – Full guidelines here

The U.S has decided to allow people who have “recently recovered” from Covid to enter the country when it opens its door for non-US citizens and immigrants on Monday(Nov 8).

The US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) said in a statement “all non-US citizens, non-US immigrants must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to traveling to the US. These travellers are also required to show proof (of) Covid-19 vaccination and a negative test no more than three days prior to the flight’s departure. Limited exceptions apply.”

The statement adds that “those who recently recovered from Covid-19 may travel with documentation of recovery and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official indicating the patient is cleared for travel.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from November 8 all air passengers two years of age or older traveling internationally, regardless of vaccination status, must provide a negative test to the airline before boarding the flight.

“Passengers fully vaccinated must provide a negative test no more than three days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country, in addition to showing proof of vaccination. Passengers over two years of age not fully vaccinated must provide a negative test no more than one day before the flight’s departure. Except in the limited circumstances allowed by CDC, unvaccinated travelers will be US citizens and legal permanent residents,” it adds.

For being allowed entry into the US, the proof of vaccination must have “personal identifiers (at a minimum, full name and date of birth) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents; name of official source issuing the record and vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination. The last dose must have been given a full 14 days before the day boarding a flight to the US.

The travel guidelines included the following protocols around testing:

  • Unvaccinated travellers – whether US Citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or the small number of accepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to test within one day of departure.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers will continue to be required to show a pre-departure negative test taken within three days of travel to the US prior to boarding, the statement said.
  • Unvaccinated minors will need to test at the same time as the adults with whom they are travelling three days with vaccinated adults and one day with unvaccinated adults, it said.

Passengers will need to show their vaccination status, and the airlines will need to:

  • Match the name and date of birth to confirm that the passenger is the same person reflected on the proof of vaccination;
  • Determine that the record was issued by an official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency) in the country where the vaccine was given, and
  • Review the essential information for determining if the passenger meets CDC’s definition for fully vaccinated such as, vaccine product, number of vaccine doses received, date(s) of administration, site (e.g., vaccination clinic, health care facility) of vaccination.

Airlines must deny boarding to passengers who do not meet these requirements or those who test positive for COVID-19, the statement added.

(With inputs from PTI)