US Travel Rules for Visitors 2021 Update

Traveling to US in 2021? There might be more to prepare than ever. Read on…

The pandemic has made life miserable for most of us. If you need to travel internationally, then you might have to jump through fire and hoops, if you’re lucky to get a ticket that is.

After Biden took over, the US have brought in new rules for international travelers.

Update: Fully vaccinated travelers can travel to US from November 8th 2021.

As of January 26, 2021, all incoming airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of travel. (Source)

Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. 

So, a negative COVID test is a must for US travelers. If you’ve recovered from COVID 19, a recovery certificate recommended.

Make sure you get one of the best health insurance plans for visitors to USA.

Where should you get COVID test done if traveling to USA?

It’s not clear where you need to get the test done but having it done from a reputed hospital with a legible English language certificate is recommended.

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Do you need COVID negative results when traveling to USA?


Can I travel to USA if I have recovered from COVID 19?

Yes, you can. Provided, you can produce essential documentation from a reputed health care provider of having recovered from COVID19 in the 90 days before travel.

When should you get COVID test done when traveling to USA?

Ideally three days before your travel date.

Will you need to show the negative test results to airlines?

Yes. You will need to show your negative test results to airline staff before boarding.

Should I go on quarantine after arriving in USA?

Yes, after you arrive in USA, you need to get tested 3-5 days after your travel and stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.

How many days of quarantine after visiting USA?

You need to go on 7 days of self-quarantine after arriving in the USA.

Who needs COVID test when visiting USA?

Everyone who’s traveling to USA by air, excluding kids under the age of two years, needs to provide negative test results.

What documents will be accepted for negative COVID test in USA?

Any authorized lab report from the country’s national health authorities will be considered as valid documentation. This has to be self-attested by the traveler.

Do you need COVID test results if you are traveling to USA for a short time?

Yes, anyone traveling to USA by air (excluding kids under 2 years) will need to show negative COVID test results before boarding plane.

Which countries are banned from entering USA?

Nationals from the following countries are not allowed to travel to the USA as of Jan 26, 2021.

China, Iran, 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, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, United Kingdom, (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland, Brazil, South Africa.

Do I need to get tested for COVID when traveling to USA from India?

Yes, you need to get tested for COVID 19 when traveling to USA from India, and provide the lab test report to the airline staff before boarding.

Source: CDC

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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