9 key facts for travelers after US regulatory changes

Almost two years have passed since the Covid-19 changed the world, the sharp increase in cases caused United States closed its borders to international travelers and imposed restrictions that have changed day by day, until now, since since this Monday the travel bans of certain countries have ended.

United States will reopen its land borders with Canada and Mexico for those vaccinated against the disease. It should be mentioned that travel between these two countries and the United States is mostly by land rather than by air. Now that the rules have changed, here are some important facts to keep in mind when doing so.

9 things to consider when traveling to the United States:

Why did these changes occur?

The United States’ goal is to resume normal travel, while limiting the spread of Covid-19, according to the country’s government. The tourism industry and its allies have been pushing to end country-specific travel restrictions.

Americans were able to travel to Europe for months, so Europeans pressured them to change their travel policies. In 2019, before the pandemic, a fifth of the nearly 80 million tourists the United States receives came from Europe.

Main requirements for traveling to the United States

All adults traveling to the United States must be fully vaccinated to do so and prove it with their vaccination certificate. Likewise, they must present a negative PCR test for Covid-19 from a sample taken within 72 hours of travel.

Should everyone be vaccinated?

Yes, all travelers must be vaccinated, however, there are exceptions, such as those under 18, although they must be tested for Covid-19. Children 2 and under are exempt from the testing requirement.

What about unvaccinated adults?

Because only a certain percentage of the world is vaccinated, the US government has a list for people who live in countries where vaccines are scarce. This list includes 50 countries where less than 10% of the inhabitants have been vaccinated, they will need permission from Washington to visit the country, although they cannot do so for tourism or business only.

The US government has explained that it will only allow unvaccinated international travelers to enter the country in specific situations such as a humanitarian or emergency reason. They can also do it by medical exception, when justified by documents.

What about unvaccinated Americans?

All those Americans who are not vaccinated must present a negative diagnostic test for Covid-19 taken one day before their international trip. Those who are vaccinated can do so three days before departure.

How will they check that the new rules are respected?

Airlines will be responsible for reviewing vaccination records and documents to verify that their passengers are traveling in good health. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $35,000 per violation.

What vaccines does the United States accept?

Most vaccines are accepted by the United States, as long as they have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). Among those approved are Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik and more.

How do I travel overland from Mexico or Canada to the United States?

The land borders of the United States have been opened to its visitors for essential travel, but now anyone can do so, provided they are vaccinated against Covid-19. Proof of vaccination is required and at this stage children 2 and under are also exempt from this requirement.

Will this affect travel?

It is important to mention that, despite the reopening, some people who could previously travel to the United States will not be able to do so, due to their vaccination status. Another obstacle to travel is delays in issuing US visas, which residents need to travel to the country.

Although many hope to enter the United States, not everyone will be able to do it, because there are restrictions that will not allow it. Tourism experts predict a large influx of tourists and hope the sector will recover, mainly after removing some of the restrictions that did not allow entry of travelers over the past year and a half.

read more: Airlines are preparing for an avalanche of travelers bound for the USA

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