Do I Need the Covid-19 Vaccine to Travel to the US?

Are you planning a trip to the United States? If so, you may be wondering if you need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to board a flight. The answer is yes, all non-immigrants, non-U. S. citizens, and non-lawful permanent residents must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status before boarding an airplane bound for the United States.

This requirement does not apply to U. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or immigrants. The accepted vaccines include those approved or authorized by the FDA and those listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use List (EUL). If you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (without a placebo) in a clinical trial, you are considered to be fully vaccinated. You must travel with proof of your vaccination status to give to your airline before leaving for the United States.

This proof must include your name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine product and the date(s) of administration of all doses you received. If you don't meet these requirements, you are not considered to be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States. A person who has received only one dose in a series of accepted 2 doses and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition and, therefore, is not considered to be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement. If you had close contact with a person infected with COVID-19 but are not recommended to quarantine, consider getting your current infection tested with a viral test as close as possible to the departure time (no more than 3 days) before travel. Before boarding a flight to the United States, you may be asked to attest to some or all of the following measures, depending on the type of exception:

  • Isolate yourself to protect others from infection.
  • Learn what to do and when it's safe to be around other people.
  • If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), you do not need to be tested 3 to 5 days after your arrival.
  • Nor is it necessary to quarantine yourself after your arrival.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 after your arrival, immediately isolate and get tested.

    Continue to isolate yourself until you know the results.

  • Wear a mask that fits you well close to other people.
You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels, whether you traveled by air, land, or sea. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you may still be infected and transmit the virus to other people. To help reduce waiting times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technology such as facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application which serves as a single portal for people to access CBP mobile applications and services. All travelers in the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid and approved Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) to travel to the United States. Individuals should be prepared to certify vaccination status and submit proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request, regardless of the purpose of the trip. Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself from serious illnesses and stop the spread of COVID-19. It is also necessary for qualifying for quarantine exemption and quarantine testing for fully vaccinated travelers. For more information on what you should know before traveling and answers to frequently asked questions about cross-border travel, visit CDC and Department of State websites.

You can also consult your airline with specific questions on each case.

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

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