Reopening of US borders: A how-to guide
We have all been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the US borders.
If you are planning a USA road trip, you're probably wondering how things will play out.
Here is all the information available on travelling to the US under the current situation.
#1. Who can travel to the US once the borders open?
International travellers who wish to visit the United States for tourism or other non-essential reasons will be allowed to enter the country provided they are fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated tourists
To be considered fully vaccinated, you must:
- Have received a single dose of the Janssen/J&J vaccine or two doses of one of the following vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covershield, Sinovac or BIBP/Sinopharm
- Have received the second dose at least 14 days before travelling to the United States
Combinations of the vaccines listed above are also accepted.
In addition to providing proof of vaccination, international travellers must also take a COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to boarding a flight to the US. This does not apply to travellers entering via a land border.
People who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or who only received one dose after contracting COVID-19 can travel to the United States, but must present a negative COVID test result obtained within 24 hours of travel.
For those mentioned in this section, there is no quarantine on arrival, unless of course you test positive on arrival or have COVID-like symptoms.
#2. Documents needed to travel to the US
Tourists coming to the US must provide the necessary travel documents.
Proof of vaccination
You must present proof of vaccination in order to board an airplane to the United States.
Vaccination proof can be in one of the following three forms:
- A vaccination certificate with QR code or digital pass via smartphone app with QR code, issued by an official source such as a government or public health agency
- A paper version of a COVID-19 vaccination record or COVID-19 vaccination certificate, issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider
- A digital photo of a vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from an official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without QR code
All forms of proof of vaccination must include:
- 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
- The name of the official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
- The name of the vaccine and the date(s) of vaccination
As of June 12, 2022, a negative COVID-19 test result is no longer required for international travellers that are fully vaccinated.
Other travel documents
Being fully vaccinated and providing a negative COVID test result does not exempt you from providing the usual travel documents required for entry to the United States.
These include a biometric passport valid for the duration of your stay and an ESTA or a VISA, depending on your country of origin.
#3. Health measures while in the US
Currently, mask mandates are no longer effective across the country.
This includes public transport.
It is therefore at your discretion if you want to wear a mask or not.
On the plane, your carrier may ask you to wear a mask.
They may also ask for your contact information for tracking purposes.
Check your airline's website for up-to-date information.
Some attractions located on territories belonging to the Navajo Nation require the wearing of a mask. This is the case at Antelope Canyon, for example. So make sure you have one with you.
#4. What if I don't feel well?
If you have flu-like or Covid-19-like symptoms, take a rapid test available at pharmacies before continuing your journey.
If the result is positive, isolate yourself so as not to spread the virus.
In case of breathing difficulties, go to the nearest emergency room.
If you need an ambulance, call 911 and tell them over the phone that you have symptoms similar to COVID-19.
Always contact your insurance company before seeking medical attention.
Now you are well informed and ready to plan your trip to the US.
If you have any questions or new information, don't hesitate to share in the comments below.