everything you need to know as country lifts Covid travel restrictions

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The United States is bracing for an influx of international visitors after easing travel restrictions first imposed 19 months ago.

Starting November 8, travelers from most countries around the world can fly to the United States as long as they are fully immunized.

Rules put in place last year to prevent the spread of Covid-19 prohibit entry to non-US citizens of 33 countries, including India, the UK, China and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe. Travelers from Mexico and Canada were also unable to make it because the United States kept its land borders closed to non-citizens.

New rules replacing the pandemic travel ban require international visitors to present proof of vaccination and a recent negative Covid-19 test result.

Now, as the country reopens in time for Thanksgiving and the winter vacation period, travelers can once again look forward to reconnecting with their families and enjoying Christmas in New York, shopping in Chicago, or soaking up the sun. winter in California. If you’re considering a trip to the United States, here’s what you need to know.

Who can travel to the United States?

Under the new rules, tourists visiting the United States will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will need to be able to prove it. The rules no longer distinguish between countries, so vaccinated tourists are welcome from almost any destination in the world.

Unvaccinated international travelers from most countries cannot visit the United States at this time.

However, anyone coming from a country that is considered by US authorities to have low or limited availability of the Covid-19 vaccine can travel unvaccinated to America as long as they have a valid nonimmigrant visa and has completed an attestation of covered individual except.

There are approximately 50 countries in this exemption category, including Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan, as well as several African countries. You can see the full list here.

What should I do before flying to the United States?

Concept of Covid-19 and vaccination.

Before traveling to the United States, tourists should ensure that they are fully vaccinated and be able to prove that the vaccination course was taken at least 14 days prior to travel.

All travelers must also present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the last 72 hours before being allowed to board flights. PCR tests and rapid antigen tests are accepted.

There are a few forms to fill out including a certificate confirming that you meet the conditions to travel, which you will find here. Travelers must also complete their contact details before flying to the United States.

This is a mandatory process implemented by the US government and an airline booking reference is required to complete the form. Airlines will tell travelers where to find and submit the forms.

What vaccines are recognized for travel to the United States?

The United States recognizes all vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration and those listed for use by the World Health Organization.

These are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

To be considered fully vaccinated, the second of a two-dose vaccine must have been taken two weeks before departure, and proof will be required, which can be presented to airline staff in the form of a paper certificate, a photo of the document or a scanned version. .

Mixed combinations of approved vaccines are also accepted, but must have been administered at least 17 days apart.

Do children need to be vaccinated to travel to the United States?

International travelers under the age of 18 do not need to be fully immunized to travel to the United States. Indeed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that many countries have yet to approve vaccines for children.

However, all children over 2 years old traveling with vaccinated adults must have a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of departure. Children traveling alone must take a test the day before departure. Children under 2 do not need to be tested.

Which airlines fly to the United States?

From Abu Dhabi, Etihad serves Washington, New York and Chicago. The UAE National Airline is a good choice for hassle-free travel to the United States as travelers can do pre-clearance immigration at Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the only airport offering this possibility in the Middle East. Economy fares to New York start at Dh3,425 with Etihad.

From Dubai, Emirates also serves several cities, with regular flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, New York, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando. The economy rates from Dubai to New York start at 3,600 Dh.

What restrictions are in place in the United States?

Considering the size of the country, it is difficult to list all the different restrictions and rules in place for all 50 states. Travelers should therefore check the local regulations of the destination they plan to visit.

In general, the CDC has now said that vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine after landing in the United States, unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.

It is recommended that all travelers get tested for Covid-19 with a viral test within three to five days of arriving in the United States and watch for any symptoms of Covid-19. Tourists should also follow all state regulations regarding wearing masks, avoiding crowds and social distancing where possible.

Some states, such as New York and California, have implemented Covid-19 passports which are a similar setup to Abu Dhabi’s Al Hosn app.

Travelers visiting US states with these systems in place may need to register with local authorities, showing proof of vaccination in order to enter public places such as restaurants, museums, theaters, etc. Again, this varies widely from state to state, so check local rules for where you plan to travel.

What is the situation with Covid-19 in the United States?

The United States has consistently recorded some of the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in the world in recent months. However, it is important to note that the country has the third highest population in the world and the coronavirus situation varies across the country.

Some states such as Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi have low daily case counts, and other destinations such as Alaska and North Dakota lead the rankings in the number of new cases.

What is the best time of year to travel to the United States?

Covering nearly 10 million square kilometers and crossing six different time zones, there is always a great place to go in the United States, no matter what time of year.

If you are planning to travel in the next few months, consider a trip to New Mexico, where you will find sunny days with chilly evenings and a changing tapestry of colors over the surrounding mountains.

For winter sunshine, head to California where the mild sun is perfect for lazy days at the beach. If you want top-notch fall foliage, head to Boston on the country’s east coast, where you can wrap up warm and stroll the Freedom Trail, where you’ll likely be rewarded with pink sunsets. .

Las Vegas in December is a good idea if you want to avoid the crowds and scorching daytime temperatures that Nevada and Arizona experience in the summer. It’s also a great time to visit the Grand Canyon as the weather is good for hiking.

If that’s the festive magic you’re looking for, take a trip to New York City. From the annual Thanksgiving parade in November to ice skating in Central Park or basking under the Christmas tree glow at Rockefeller Center, the Big Apple really has it all.

Update: November 8, 2021, 10:20 a.m.


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