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COVID-19 Travel Considerations

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several US government policies have impacted international travel, documentation, and transportation options. Such policies continue to emerge and evolve over time and in response to various health and safety protocols. This page summarizes current travel considerations and recent announcements on US travel considerations during COVID-19. For issues related to current University resources, please continue to consult UR’s COVID-19 Resource Center and your department.

Vaccination Requirement | Country-Specific Restrictions | General Considerations


Limited Entry for Unvaccinated Nonimmigrant Travelers

As of November 8, 2021, the Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic(#10294) requires that “noncitizens who are nonimmigrants” are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to entering the US by air travel. This restriction does not apply to US citizens or immigrants, does not affect US visa issuance and should not impact entry from a land border with Canada or Mexico.

Under limited circumstances, an unvaccinated nonimmigrant traveler may be permitted to enter the US (see below). That individual is then expected to become fully vaccinated within 60 days of arriving in the United States. Exceptions are cited for travelers who intend to depart the US after a brief stay, are too young for vaccination, or have a medical condition that conflicts with vaccine recommendations, among other specified criteria. Upon admission to the US, such travelers must also agree to follow designated health and safety measures set forth by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which may include testing protocols, masking during travel, self-quarantine or isolation, etc. Eligible exceptions include:

  • Noncitizens for whom vaccination is inappropriate due to age, medical condition, clinical trials, etc.
  • Noncitizens who are traveling with a common diplomatic visa category, the United Nations, US Armed Forces, or purposes consistent with national interests.
  • Noncitizens from a country where COVID-19 vaccination availability is limited, provided they are entering the US with a nonimmigrant visa other than B-1/B2 tourism. The list of countries with limited vaccine availability (less than 10% total vaccination rate) is maintained by CDC.

For more information, please review the CDC's technical instructions and implementation procedures, including definitions, accepted vaccines, and documentation requirements.


Country-Specific Suspensions & Limitations on Entry

As transmissibility rates and COVID-19 risks change across localities and over time, the US government may continue to restrict travelers from certain regions of the world.

Generally, noncitizen travelers will NOT be permitted to enter the country if they were physically present within a targeted region during the 14-day period prior to arriving to the US. Unless noted, such restrictions do not apply to lawful permanent residents, the spouse, parent, or child (if unmarried and under the age of 21) of a US citizen or resident, and some other familial relations, as well as certain visa categories [i.e. A, C, D, E-1, G, NATO]. Other considerations are outlined below, as appropriate.

Revoked as of December 31, 2021: Travel restrictions under Proclamation #10315 on travelers from Southern Africa are now lifted. The order had previously impacted travel from the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Revoked as of November 8, 2021: Several country-specific restrictions were recently lifted that had impacted travelers from the People's Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), the Islamic Republic of Iran, the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of South Africa, and the Republic of India. Please reference our previous Executive Action Summary from May 2021 for those details.


General Restrictions on Travel & US Consular/Visa Operations

Unfortunately, visa operations abroad and viable entry to the US remain very risky during the COVID-19 pandemic. With variant strains and related public health concerns, travelers may face significant logistical hurdles or a sudden suspension on entry to the US from certain regions of the world. Please carefully evaluate your travel plans before departing the country. For those who do choose to travel, it is critical to monitor any breaking developments and consider alternative arrangements if you are unable to return as scheduled.