Biden Administration Plans to Rescind COVID-19 Travel Bans and Instead Require Proof of Vaccination

The Biden administration will be easing travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated international travelers for air travel and land borders effective on November 8, 2021.

On October 13, 2021, DHS Secretary Mayorkas announced that DHS will lift Title 19 restrictions for land and ferry border crossings from Canada and Mexico in two phases. In early November 2021, consistent with the rescission of the INA 212(f) COVID-19 entry bans for air travelers, DHS will first allow non-essential travel across the land and ferry borders for fully vaccinated individuals, while still allowing essential travel for unvaccinated individuals. In early January 2022, DHS will then require all foreign travelers, whether essential or not, to be fully vaccinated. There will be limited exceptions to these requirements, such as for children. This announcement only applies to regular land and ferry border crossings and does not lift the Title 42 restrictions for irregular land and ferry border crossings.

On October 11, 2021 it was confirmed via a CDC spokesperson that only vaccines that are approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted for international travelers seeking to travel to the United States.

As of the date of this update, the accepted vaccines are as follows:

  1. FDA Authorized/Approved: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech
  2. WHO Approved: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

While much is not yet known about the implementation of the administration’s new travel requirements, it appears that as vaccines are added to the approved/authorized list by either the FDA or WHO, it will subsequently be accepted for international travelers. AILA will continue to provide additional updates on the implementation of these new requirements.

For more information on COVID-19 Travel Bans ,

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