united states

RESTRICTIONS FOR UNITED STATES AND COVID-19: LIFTING OF ENTRY MEASURES FOR BANNED COUNTRIES

THE CLEAR IMPROVEMENT IN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL DATA HAS LED TO A RELAXATION OF ENTRY MEASURES FOR MANY COUNTRIES. THE MOST NOTABLE OF THESE IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE OPENING OF BORDERS AND THE CHANGE IN RESTRICTIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES.

On October 25, the United States Government issued a new Presidential Proclamation rescinding existing U.S. travel restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, finally ending travel limitations under Presidential Proclamations (PP) 9984, 9992, 10143 and 10199.

In today’s blog post we will detail what are the new measures adopted by the United States and what we should take into account from now on to move to this country.

You can find more details regarding President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan at the following link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/es/plandelcovid/ 

What restrictions for the United States currently affect entry into the country?

Since the beginning of the pandemic (and to this day) there has been a ban on entry into the United States of foreigners who have been in any country of the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, SPAIN, Sweden and Switzerland) in the previous 14 days.

The same restriction affected travelers who had been to China, Iran, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.

However, the same proclamation included a series of exemptions for which a National Interest Exception could be requested, an authorization that was requested from the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and which was granted for those cases in which the applicant was traveling for the performance of an essential, urgent, necessary and non-extendable service that, if not provided, would cause serious economic damage to the U.S. market.

In addition to the urgent and non-extendable nature of the assignment, the service for which the worker was traveling had to fall within one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by CISA (https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors), such as healthcare, food or commercial infrastructure.

It should be noted that regardless of the origin of the passengers wishing to enter the United States, they were also required to travel with a negative PCR test performed no more than 72 hours before the flight.

Open borders: at what point do restrictions end for the United States?

The new regulations are clear in this regard, the cancellation of the existing measures and the entry into force of the new ones will take place as of November 8, 2021 at 12:01 AM EST.

Thus, it is very important to note that any entry into the United States prior to this date will continue to be governed by the COVID19 restrictions imposed until now; therefore, if traveling from any of the Schengen area countries, a National Interest Exception will continue to be required to enter the country.

What are the new U.S. restrictions applicable?

Faced with this «new normal», the U.S. Government has opted to replace the existing limitations with the requirement of vaccination against COVID19 for all foreigners wishing to enter the United States by air.

Thus, as of November 8, all non-immigrant travelers and non-citizens of the United States traveling to the country by air must comply with the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (better known by the American acronym CDC); The CDC has decreed that: all foreign travelers must have a complete vaccination schedule, providing as proof of this valid vaccination certificate before boarding the plane.

In addition to the vaccination certificate, they must show a negative COVID19 test performed no more than 3 days before departure, being valid both PCR and antigen test.

Are all vaccinations valid?

As for the vaccines accepted by the government with respect to the restrictions for the United States, not all of them are valid at the moment. Among those accepted are: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Jhonson and AztraZeneca, all of which are also approved by the WHO and used for vaccinations in all European Union countries.

Are there any exceptions to mandatory vaccination?

Although few in number, the Presidential Proclamation provides for a number of circumstances in which any foreign person traveling to the United States may do so even if he or she does not have a complete vaccination regimen:

  • Those under 18 years of age
  • Those who by medical prescription cannot receive the vaccine.
  • Emergency travelers who do not have access to the vaccine in their countries of origin; in this sense, the CDC has established a list of those countries where access to the vaccine is considered limited/restricted. It is worth mentioning that no country of the European Union is included in this list.

If you still have any doubts, please leave us your details and our team specialized in internationalization will contact you to give you more information about the restrictions on entering the United States applicable to each specific case.

Expatriation and Impatriation Area

Author: Melissa Kuhlmann, Lawer at Expatfeliu

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