Everything you need to know about the US border opening


Author: Rotem Kles

For 20 long months, the borders of the United States of America have been closed to most visitors. The travel restrictions affected non-American citizens from over 30 countries. This includes Europe, India, China, South Africa, and the UK, causing many businesses and families trouble.

In March 2020, the US closed its borders due to the rising Covid-19 cases. During this time, many struggled to meet loved ones and even travel back to their home country. It was impossible to transit through Europe when arriving from a third country.

From November 8th, fully vaccinated arrivals from all countries can enter the US for non-essential reasons. We gathered for you all the information you need to know.

Who can enter the US now?

This is a huge step, but still, many travelers can not enter the country. Only fully vaccinated arrivals can enter.

Who can enter, and what kind of documents do they have to provide?

  • Arrivals to the United States over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated and provide proof.
  • Before their flight, arrivals must get a negative Covid-19 test result no older than 72 hours.
  • Children under the age of 18 won’t have to provide proof of vaccination. Children between the ages of 2 and 17 will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test when arriving in the US.
  • No quarantine is needed.

How do you know if you are considered fully vaccinated according to the US rules?

If you were vaccinated with one of the following vaccines:

  • Janssen/J&J
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covaxin
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

If the following times have passed since you were vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covovax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in phase 3 clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart

Land borders with Canada and Mexico

The land borders with neighboring countries Canada and Mexico are also open now. But just as arrivals by air - only vaccinated individuals can enter the country.

Travelers arriving through land borders don’t have to show a negative Covid test. They need to provide proof of vaccination and show it at the border check. Also, they may need to state their reason for traveling and show more papers.

What do you need to know when arriving in the US?

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, arrivals can expect longer waiting times at airports. They suggest travelers make sure they have all the documents they need organized ahead and be patient.

You can check for more updates and information on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.