U.S. Travel Rules: Entry, Testing And Vaccination Requirements (May 2022)
Masks Not Required on Flights, Public Transit and in U.S. AirportsOn April 18, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate, citing agency overreach by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Biden administration has appealed the decision after the CDC determined the mandate is still necessary to protect the public from Covid-19. It’s unclear when a final decision will be made, but some worry that if the mask mandate is reinstated, there could be backlash from the American public.
As per the new ruling, you’re no longer required to wear a mask in U.S. airports.
Are Covid-19 Tests Still Required to Enter the U.S.?
If you’re a U.S. citizen or legal resident that recently recovered from Covid-19, you can travel with documentation proving your recovery (the CDC gives the example of a positive Covid-19 viral test received no more than 90 days before your flight back to the U.S., plus a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official declaring it’s safe for you to travel).
It’s important to note that the test requirements include taking it within one calendar day and is not limited to within 24 hours of your departure. This means that you’ll be able to take your test at any time during the day before your flight, no matter what time your flight departs.
Either a PCR or antigen test will be accepted as proof of being negative for Covid-19. The CDC requires the test to be “authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered.”
This may mean an over-the-counter at-home test bought in a foreign country won’t qualify. It may also mean that you have to get an antigen test in person, conducted by a licensed professional.
If you take your test within one calendar day but outside a 24-hour window before your flight, it may be prudent to have a copy of the regulations handy to show to airport personnel.
What Covid-19 Test Can I Take to Get Into the U.S.?All travelers age 2 and older are required to present a negative Covid-19 test within one calendar day of travel. With such a narrow window for taking a test and receiving results, travelers’ testing options for returning to the U.S. have been dramatically curtailed. So which tests can you take to ensure you will be allowed to board your flight?
The New U.S. Covid-19 Entry Requirements Started on Dec. 6, 2021The U.S. is still enforcing strict Covid-19 testing rules for travelers coming to the U.S. A recap:
It’s Confirmed: Biden Tightens Covid Testing Restrictions for Travelers Entering the U.S.
Japan Still Closed for Most Foreign VisitorsJapan has continued to greatly restrict who can enter the country. As of April 18, foreign nationals can only enter the country for short-term stays for business or employment. Long-term stays of foreign nationals are restricted to a limited number and include foreign students and technical trainees. Foreigners traveling for tourism are still barred from entering the country.
Those entering Japan must have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the international leg of their trip and must be tested upon arrival. U.S. citizens that are vaccinated and have a booster do not need to quarantine. U.S. citizens who are not vaccinated, or are vaccinated without a booster, can either quarantine for seven days at home or in a hotel, OR quarantine for three days at home or in a hotel AND complete a PCD or antigen test on day three.
What Counts as Proof of Vaccination for Travel?If you’re not a U.S. citizen or legal resident, you must provide proof of vaccination for travel. A booster dose is NOT needed to be considered vaccinated. This proof must tick the following boxes:
- It’s issued by an official source (e.g. the CDC)
- It shows your name and date of birth
- It shows the vaccine you received, and the date(s) for all the doses you received
- A paper vaccination certificate
- A printout of a Covid-19 vaccination record
- A vaccination certificate with a QR code
- A digital pass via a smartphone app (e.g. the EU’s digital Covid certificate)
- A digital photo of a vaccination card or record
- A downloaded version of a vaccination card or record from an official source
- A mobile phone app without a QR code
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
- Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
AFP / DOMINICK REUTER
COVID Testing Requirement - Where can I get Tested?
Should I Get Travel Insurance?
Standard trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you 100% of your non-refundable trip costs for many common problems such as illness, injury, family emergencies and hurricanes.
Related: Best Travel Insurance 2022