November 1. The U.S. has come up with new rules and regulations for travelers flying in from other countries, to take effect on Monday, November 8.
“Some parts of the policy are fair and some are burdensome and exclusionary, but overall the revised guidelines are based on clinical and public health evidence,” says Dr. Junaid Nabi, a senior researcher in health-care strategy at Harvard Business School.
If you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll have to show a digital or paper version of the card along with ID that matches all of your personal information on the vaccine card. But not all versions of the vaccine qualify. Under the new rules, accepted vaccines for travel to the U.S. are limited to those currently on the World Health Organization or U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized or approved lists.
For those who aren’t vaccinated (or didn’t get a vaccine from the approved list), a trip to the U.S. is still possible – but only if they meet one of the conditions for an exception as detailed on lists from the U.S. State Department.
Perhaps the most sweeping exception is for travelers with passports from any country where fewer than 10% of the country’s population has been vaccinated. That list will be regularly updated, according to the State Department. Currently, there are 50 countries on the list, 34 of them in Africa.
Vaccinated foreign travelers have to take a test within three days of their flight, but unvaccinated travelers have to do their testing within a single day of travel with a product that provides results in a timely enough fashion to present at the airport.
The new Biden administration rules also address protocols after arrival in the U.S., including more testing, isolating if you do contract COVID-19 and a strong nudge to get the vaccination for people who will be in the country 60 days or longer.