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Can I Travel to the U.S. Right Now?

Are you wondering if you can travel to the USA now that COVID restrictions are starting to lift? If you are an international traveler, the wait will soon be over.

Foreign travelers will be able to visit the United States again beginning on November 8, 2021.

It’s been nearly 18 months since the U.S. closed its borders to international travelers, including to its neighbors to the north in Canada. Now, the Biden administration has announced that vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry to the United States.

Coming to the USA

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that foreign nationals who have received mixed doses of vaccines will also be eligible for U.S. travel. According to the CDC website:

  • Fully vaccinated air travelers coming to the United States from abroad, including U.S. citizens, are still required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
  • International travelers arriving in the United States are still recommended to get a SARS-CoV-2 viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine in the United States following international travel.

If you are a foreign traveler coming to the U.S. or a U.S. citizen traveler returning to the U.S., you can save time by filling out this required CDC attestation, which is available in several languages.

Travel in the USA Once You Arrive

Perhaps the most frustrating (or liberating) aspects of traveling to the U.S. now that COVID restrictions have been lifted is discovering that there isn’t one national, unified regulation on vaccines or mask-wearing. Foreign visitors, many of whom have endured very stringent COVID regulations at home, will find that the U.S. is practically a free-for-all with regards to vaccines and masks. There are no COVID regulations at the federal level, save for those for the federal workforce.

Some cities, like New York City, require masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and proof of at least one vaccine jab. Similarly, Los Angeles has a vaccine mandate and requires masks indoors. San Francisco also requires proof of vaccine for restaurants, bars, and other indoor spaces.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas simply recommends that visitors wear masks in indoor spaces like casinos and bars (a recent change from a mask requirement). But masks may be required in some venues, depending on the business.

Miami also requests that visitors wear masks indoors. But given that Miami’s state —Florida—has taken a stance against vaccine mandates and mask-wearing, Miami’s COVID guidelines are hardly enforceable.