Country factsheets

United States of America

United States of America

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Date of search

23 Dec 2021


Certificate adoption

No conclusive answers yet, federally being considered with variation in states – range of states have banned its use presenting the bans as measures to protect individual privacy and vaccination choice. (including Georgia, Alabama, Arizona and Florida) and some like New York states Excelsior Pass have implemented their own for access to events and perfromances (https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/new-yorks-excelsior-pass-is-usas-first-covid-19-vaccine-passport-9677691.html)

Please read the following link for the current certification implementation.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/01/1027768/us-vaccine-passport-guide/


Instrument type

Vaccination based


Certificate format

Electronic being considered by airline companies and in New York state, proof of vaccination currently paper-based


Entry protocol

For general measure

All airline passengers two years of age and older traveling to the United States must give a negative COVID-19 viral test done within 1 day before your your flight. Additionally, visitors visiting the United States may present proof from a qualified health care physician that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days before to travel.

Children under the age of two, crew on official duty, certain federal law enforcement employees, members of the US military, and individuals with humanitarian exemptions granted by the CDC are excluded from the negative test or verification of recovery requirement, according to the CDC’s Order.

To validate the negative test results or evidence of recovery, all passengers on air transportation must complete the attestation. If you are completely vaccinated or have recovered with COVID-19 within the last three months, you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine.

The United States forbids travellers from the following countries where omicron is spreading:

  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

For fully vaccinated travellers, 

  • They are not required to self-quarantine once they return to the United States unless a state or local government requires it.
  • They should keep taking COVID19 precautions while traveling, such as wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially separating themselves, and washing their hands often.
  • The White House declared that vaccinations would be mandatory for overseas tourists entering the United States beginning November 8, 2021. Vaccines acceptable for entrance into the United States will include those that are FDA approved or authorized, as well as those on the WHO Emergency Use List.
  • Beginning Nov. 8, the United States will accept fully vaccinated foreign air travelers from the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, which include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Greece, as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil. Also, the White House has stated that beginning Nov. 8, it would open its land borders with Canada and Mexico to fully vaccinated passengers.
  • However, all air passengers arriving in the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, must have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the previous 3 months before boarding a flight to the United States.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, international visitors traveling in the United States are still advised to have a SARS-CoV-2 viral test 3-5 days after arrival. Travelers who are fully vaccinated do not need to self-quarantine in the United States after returning from a foreign trip.

For recovered travellers,

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an Order on January 12, 2021 requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving from a foreign country to the US.
  •  To validate the documentation of recovery from COVID-19, the passenger must complete all six of the standards listed below:
    • The test is a viral test. Please refer to the negative test requirement for the allowed test.
    • The test must indicate where the test was done as well as information like the name and contact information for the laboratory or healthcare staff who performed the test.
    • The specimen collection date for the test must be within the past 90 days. Tests older than 90 days do not qualify for option B; instead, the passenger must meet the conditions of option A (Proof of negative test results)
    • The information that identifies the person must be included in the test.
      • It must be the person’s name on the documentation. Additional identifiers may include, but are not limited to, the date of birth, age and passport number and at least one other identifier.
      • Check that the identifiers on the test correspond to those on the passenger’s other identification documents (or something like a passport or driver’s license).
    • The test must yield a positive result. “Invalid” results are not accepted. Among the phrases used to describe a positive test are, but are not restricted to:
      • POSITIVE
      • POSITIVE-SARS-CoV-2 RNA DETECTED
      • SARS-CoV-2 ANTIGEN DETECTED
      • COVID-19 DETECTED
      • REACTIVE
    • It must also include a signed document verifying that the passenger is authorized to travel.
      • From a qualified healthcare professional or a public health official
      • Must still be signed and on official documents with the healthcare provider’s or public health official’s name, address, and phone number.
      • It is not necessary to specify travel—a letter releasing the individual from isolation (e.g., to return to work or school) can suffice.

For unvaccinated travellers, 

  •  The CDC advises that unvaccinated overseas immigrants be tested within 3 to 5 days of arrival and self-quarantine for 7 days.
  •  To validate the negative test results, the passenger must complete all five of the standards listed below:
    • TYPE OF TEST: The test have to be a viral test. In addition, the following types of viral COVID-19 tests can be used: Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). Also, Phrases signifying an NAAT may include, but are not limited to:
      • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
      • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)
      • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
      • Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)
      • Molecular test or molecular diagnostic test
      • Isothermal amplification
      • Droplet Digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
      • Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)
    • Antigen test-related phrases may include, but are not limited to:
      • Rapid antigen test
      • Viral antigen test
      • Also, could be noted as Antigen Chromatographic Digital Immunoassay§, Antigen Chemiluminescence Immunoassay§, or Antigen Lateral Flow Fluorescence.
      • Please keep in mind that antibody and serology tests are not the same and are not permitted.
    • The test have to contain information such as the name and contact information for the laboratory or healthcare staff who performed the test, as well as where the test was done.
    • The specimen collection date on the test has to be three days or fewer before the flight’s departure. To provide the traveler greater options, the Order offers a 3-day term rather than 72 hours.
    • The information that identifies the person must be included in the test.
      • It must be the person’s name on the documentation. Additional identifiers may include, but are not limited to, the date of birth, age and passport number and at least one other identifier.
      • Check that the identifiers on the test correspond to those on the passenger’s other identification documents (or something like a passport or driver’s license).
    • The test must provide a negative result. “Invalid” results are not accepted. Words or phrases that may be used to describe a negative test include, but are not restricted to:
      • NEGATIVE
      • UNDETECTABLE
      • SARS-CoV-2 RNA NOT DETECTED
      • SARS-CoV-2 ANTIGEN NOT DETECTED
      • COVID-19 NOT DETECTED
      • NOT REACTIVE

Remarks:

  • Prior to departure, all passengers aged 2 and up traveling to the United States will be required to sign an attestation indicating they match the requirements and are thus cleared to travel (parents or other authorized individuals may testify on behalf of passengers aged 2 to 17). Before reporting to the airport to check in, please download, print, complete, and sign the attestation form. Passengers who fail to complete the attestation form will be denied boarding.

 


Vaccine authorised to be used in the country

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer BioNtech
  • J&J

Vaccine accepted for inbound travellers

Effectively inbound vaccine approval

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series)
  • Moderna (two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series)
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (two weeks after a single-dose vaccination)
  • AstraZeneca and Novavax trial in US.*
  • Although the CDC has not yet recommended it, a mix and match vaccination is also allowed. The second dose in a two-dose heterologous series must be administered no sooner than 17 days (21 days with a 4-day grace period) following the first dose. Furthermore, individuals can be considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the last dose if they have received any single dose of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO EUL approved single-dose series (i.e., Janssen), or any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series (i.e., Janssen). The recommended time between the first and second doses of FDA-approved/authorized and WHO-EUL listed vaccinations vary depending on the vaccine type.

Effectively inbound vaccine approval on the 8th of November, 2021(COVID-19 vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization for emergency use)

  • AstraZeneca/Oxford
  • Covishield-AstraZeneca from serum institute of India
  • AstraZeneca-SK Bio from South Korea
  • Sinopharm (BIBP)
  • Sinovac
  • Covaxin
  • Novavax/Covavax

*Participants in the AstraZeneca and Novavax COVID-19 vaccination studies in the United States also fulfill these inbound vaccine requirements. These COVID-19 vaccination trial participants in the United States can be regarded completely vaccinated two weeks after completing the vaccine series if it is proven that they got “active” vaccine rather than placebo.


Border status

Open (no inbound travellers banned for tourism and only allowed on exceptions.)


Remarks

  • There is no requirement for negative test results and recovery documentation to be in English, but airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to validate the test result and examine other essential information. Airlines and aircraft operators must decide whether translation is required. So please double-check with airlines.
  •  Not permitted if completely handwritten or typed concerning a test result or letter approving a person for travel. Exceptions are permitted:
    • A test result form on official letterhead may be partially handwritten.
    • A letter on official letterhead from a healthcare professional or public health official may be typed or handwritten if clearly readable and signed by hand or an official digital signature.
  •  The FAQ may be found at this link. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html
  •  According to the US Department of State’s website announcement, the CDC and the interagency are working to prepare the orders and guidance papers to execute this new travel policy, and those specifics – for airlines, airline passengers, and anyone crossing the border – will be accessible well in advance of November 8 to ensure compliance.