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

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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)

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  • Gordon says:

    Well as long as you were vaccinated you would not have had any problems entering the US before this announcement It was plain sailing for me a few weeks ago, Also re entering from Mexico. Just for reference, You do not need to fill out a form for entry into Mexico now, Just need to show your passport.

  • Lewis says:

    For what it’s worth I wasn’t asked to show my vaccine proof when I arrived last week anyway.

    • Lewis says:

      (As a UK passport holder)

    • jjoohhnn says:

      Did you provide it to the airline in advance? I believe it was always up to the airlines to police this rather than CBP.

    • Travel Strong says:

      It’s mixed. The IT for Virgin and BA has changed a little as months go by.
      When travelling HBO I’ve not had to show anything or upload anything, just the attestation during OLCI. On other flights I had to upload a doc.

  • SteveCroydon says:

    I flew to the USA from London back in November 2022. The BA online check-in kept asking for my vaccination certificates to be uploaded and then going round continually asking for them even though I had uploaded them.
    At the First Wing check-in I explained what a piece of cr@p the BA IT systems are. She replied that they knew about it and many people had the same problem. “Do you want to see my certificates?” I asked. “No, you’re checked-in, here’s your boarding card, have a lovely flight”.
    Upon arrival in the USA I wasn’t asked about vaccination at all. There wasn’t even a customs form to fill in.
    So it seems that it’s never been stringently enforced anyway.

    • Mike says:

      The Americans never asked for it on landing, it was left up to the airlines to enforce

  • Michael says:

    Confusing, reports elsewhere are saying that proof of Covid vaccination has now been dropped by the US Authorities

    • chris1922 says:

      Not confusing at all, the text has been updated. Proof of vaccination HAS been dropped, look at the top, in red.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      What’s confusing?

      The red text right at the beginning says exactly that.

      And there is a link to the White House statement as well.

      • riku says:

        It’s confusing because the story appeared AFTER the rules were changed (due to the story being written in a past and automatic unattended publishing). I don’t know why the story is still on the website since it was wrong the moment it was published and is still wrong.

        • Rob says:

          It has to stay there because there are links to it scattered across the web, placed automatically. Easier to keep it and put a big marker at the start than take it down and get lots of 404 errors for people.

  • xcalx says:

    No vax details were asked for last week by BA or on arrival in Miami on DUB-LHR-MIA. Not our first visit since covid so maybe details are stored.

  • Peter de Vos says:

    I travelled to the US on an investor visa in 2021. There were no checks made on Covid test results provided to the check in agents.

    I also know many people who travelled for leisure to various countries with forged documents.

    The onus was always on the airport staff to check, all they seemed to care about was whether the box had been ticked to say you’d done it, not what the forms actually stated…

  • ianM says:

    Can’t believe so many people are getting their knickers in a twist over this non story.

    I’d certainly feel safer if people had to be vaccinated before travelling anyway.

  • His Holyness says:

    Dr Joe said the vax would protect you from infecting “other folks”. The CDC wants to ban non-vaccinated but Dr Joe overrules that because science is no good, I guess.

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