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New U.S. Requirements for International Travel in Response to COVID-19 Omicron Variant

In response to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Administration is expanding COVID-19 mitigation and tightening international travel requirements.

All individuals (including U.S. citizens) entering the United States from abroad will have to be fully vaccinated and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of their departure. Previously, individuals were required to be fully vaccinated and supply a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. The updated testing requirement applies to all individuals two years of age and older. Meeting the one-day testing requirement may be challenging in some countries. In addition, mask requirements on all public transportation will be continued until mid-March 2022, instead of mid-January 2022.

On November 8, 2021, the geographic travel restrictions that prevented individuals who had been in over 30 countries within 14 days of their trip to the United States were lifted in exchange for vaccination and testing requirements. On November 29, 2021, 14-day travel restrictions were again implemented, but this time for travelers coming from eight countries in southern Africa. The new vaccination and testing requirements will be applied to all travelers – even those who are exempt or receive National Interest Waivers (NIEs) from the southern African restriction.

NIEs previously granted under other proclamations are no longer valid.

It is important to check out testing options in your country of travel to ensure that you can get the correct test result within the 24-hour window.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 347
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About this Author

Forrest G. Read IV, Immigration, Employment, Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Law Firm
Principal

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has special expertise in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read's immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and...

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