Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

(OVERTAKEN BY EVENTS) USA to retain coronavirus vaccination rules for travellers

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

EDIT: This story became redundant overnight when the Biden administration chose to overrule the CDC and remove vaccination requirements from 11th May.

The current coronavirus restrictions in the USA were timing out on 11th May, and most people expected that they would be removed in full from this date.

In a surprising move, whilst some restrictions will be dropped, the requirement for arrivals by air to be vaccinated against coronavirus will remain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new rules last Thursday.

USA makes surprise decision to retain covid vaccination rules

From 11th May, the vaccination rule will be:

  • you must have received two doses of a recognised covid vaccine, at least two weeks before entry or
  • if the vaccine was received after 16th August 2022, selected types of vaccine are acceptable after one dose, received at least two weeks before entry

The following caveats apply:

  • the requirement only applies if arriving into the USA by air, not land
  • it only applies to foreign nationals, not US citizens or permanent residents
  • it only applies to those aged 18+

Whilst those under 18 are exempt from vaccination, they are still required to take a covid test within 3-5 of arriving in the United States unless they can show documentation of having recovered from covid in the past 90 days. We were reminded about this when we entered the US with our children at Easter. You do not need to submit the results of this test to anyone.

This does, of course, make the US an outlier compared to other major economies. Canada does not require proof of vaccination, and of course the EU does not. You do not even require proof of vaccination to enter China.

From a practical point of view, this means that if you are flying to the US you will need to continue submitting vaccination data to your airline in advance of travel.

Comments (52)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • The Lord says:

    This seems to suggest the opposite

    “Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the Covid-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travellers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the Covid-19 public health emergency ends,” the White House said in a statement.

    • marcolau says:

      Looking on the news articles, there were some changes last Thursday, which Rob referred to here.
      However, the drop of the policy altogether came pretty late in UK time yesterday – very unfortunate timing for the team being unable to rewrite the article in time for this.

      • Lou says:

        We’ll all have a good chuckle about this in a couple of hours

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      It does seem, based on other sources, this this article is well and truly wrong. I had two doses and have had no issue with entry to the US but after seeing this article got worried that I was going to have to bother with VeriFLY or queuing at a desk for my short trip to the US in August. Fortunately it’s not needed

      • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

        It was correct when Rob wrote it.

        He can’t be responsible if the US government changes its mind literally overnight.

        No doubt it will be amended when Rob starts work.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          These things have always changed rather quickly. I remember Italy talking about extending their restrictions back in early 2022 a few days before they were due to expire and then ending up scrapping them. This news article is based on changes made last Thursday, just a tinkering to some existing rules. It didn’t make sense to run an article until it was actually confirmed.

  • Mark says:

    This article was probably queued up some time before the US announced they were dropping the vaccine mandate on Monday. The change being reported here was announced on Sunday and was definitely rather confusing

  • Will in SJC says:

    Gotta feel for Rob, Rhys and team. White House announced, shortly after 9pm London, that from next week the requirement will be dropped alongside other requirements for federal employees. No real fanfare over here in the States on the announcement- very much under the radar.

    Interestingly I haven’t been asked for proof on any of my flights back to the US from the UK in the last 6 months (I am a US visa holder not a perm resident so technically was caught by this rule).

  • JC says:

    What a pitiful nation ….. glad I don’t have to live there anymore

  • Iain Riley says:

    Aer Lingus didn’t ask me for any vaccination info last December DUB/IAD.

  • PeterK says:

    We flew on BA to the US in early April and there was no request to upload Covid certificates. On a separate booking my son kept getting messages to upload but whenever followed the link it said all docs were OK. He even rang BA who said all was in order and they couldn’t understand why he was getting the messages. Could it be that the BA system was still holding Covid passes from earlier trips so they knew we were vaccinated?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.