Can I Fly in the US if I Do Not Qualify for a COVID-19 Vaccination?

If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States, unless you meet the requirements to make an exception. As the pandemic continues to spread, questions have been raised online about travel guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), particularly regarding testing and vaccines. The exact requirements and regulations largely depend on where you are coming from and where you are going. If you are fully vaccinated and plan to travel within the US, you do not need to take any additional steps.

However, those who are not fully vaccinated are advised to get tested with a viral test one or three days before their trip. After traveling, people should monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19 and, if they occur, get tested. If you are traveling abroad, whether a COVID-19 test is required or not depends on your destination, as rules and regulations vary greatly. The CDC strongly recommends that people do not leave the country until they are fully vaccinated. If you are coming from another country, you will be asked to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than one day before traveling, even if you are fully vaccinated.

People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 have another option. According to the CDC, they can travel with recovery documentation, such as the result of a viral test on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight departs and a letter from a healthcare provider stating that they were cleared to travel. In general, there is a major difference between COVID travel requirements for US citizens and visitors. Airlines may also have their own vaccine and testing policies, so it is especially important to check the airline's website before traveling. To strengthen contact tracing, all air passengers traveling to the US must provide contact information before boarding flights to the country, health officials said. Regardless of the destination or if you have been vaccinated, wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth is mandatory on airplanes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling to, within or outside the US.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

All non-immigrants and non-US citizens traveling by air to the US must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status before boarding an airplane bound for the US. This requirement does not apply to US lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or immigrants. Fully vaccinated travelers must travel with proof of their vaccination status to give to their airline before leaving for the US. This proof of vaccination must be a printed or digital record issued by an official source and must include the traveler's name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine product and date(s) of administration of all doses received by the traveler. The CDC has determined that for travel to the US accepted vaccines will include vaccines approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and those listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use List (EUL).

Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

The Embassy and consulates are unable to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Travelers who have general questions about COVID-19 vaccine requirements can find answers to frequently asked questions on CDC and Department of State websites. Travelers can consult their airlines with specific questions on each case. There is no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in people receiving monoclonal antibodies. Non-immigrant non-citizens who do not qualify for any exceptions do not need to be tested for COVID-19 if they stay in the US for less than 3 days; however, they must quarantine until they leave the US.

Review the CDC website and recommendation chart to learn how to keep up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines. Any alien who is a citizen of a foreign country where availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is limited (as indicated in section 4(a)(v) of this proclamation) and wishes to enter the US with a nonimmigrant visa (except for B1 or B2 visas) must show proof that they are fully vaccinated before boarding a flight to the US.


, in order to qualify for this exception you must show a passport or other proof of citizenship from a country where it is determined that availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is limited. You must show a letter from a licensed physician documenting medical contraindication to airline or aircraft operator before boarding flight to US.

Check with airline or aircraft operator of your flight to find out how airline or aircraft operator will collect your certificate. See amended CDC order implementing proclamation on safe resumption of global travel during COVID-19 pandemic.

For now

, amended CDC order only requires that nonimmigrant noncitizens be fully vaccinated with primary series of accepted COVID-19 vaccine in order to board flight to US. Therefore, in order to interpret vaccination records for travel to US CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDC order requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 does not apply to Ukrainians approved as part of United for Ukraine program.

If you're trying

to get pregnant now or want to get pregnant in future you can get COVID-19 vaccine.

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

Amateur zombie evangelist. Proud musicaholic. Amateur web practitioner. General zombie trailblazer. Award-winning beer ninja. Typical bacon geek.