What you need to know before you go

If you’re planning to travel to the United States, here’s what you need to know and expect if you plan to travel there during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The newest

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lifted its requirement for travelers to test negative for Covid-19 before entering the United States.

The basics

After country-specific closures throughout the pandemic, the United States reopened its borders to fully vaccinated visitors from other nations on November 8, 2021.

While the CDC continues to recommend that everyone ages 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask on public transit, masks are currently not required on planes, trains, and other public transit.

What’s on offer

The size and scope of the United States offers travelers so many options.

There are stunning landscapes (Alaska, Utah and the Maine coast) and world-famous city breaks (New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles).

There’s cultural diversity (Boston, Memphis and San Francisco) and delicious food (Chicago, New Orleans and Charleston).

Finally, it has some of the world’s best driving experiences (California Highway 1, Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway).

who can go

The United States no longer has Covid-related travel bans in effect against certain countries.

Visitors 18 years and older who are not US citizens, US citizens, lawful permanent residents, or green card holders must be fully vaccinated to enter. Children under the age of 17 are exempt. Click here for other exceptions.

There are no restrictions on domestic travel within the United States. However, the CDC recommends that all domestic travelers get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible before departure.

What are the restrictions?

To be considered fully vaccinated, travelers must have received their second dose (or one dose for a single dose vaccine) 14 days prior to arrival.

From June 21, booster shots no longer had to be considered fully vaccinated.

The vaccine must be either approved by the US Federal Drug Administration or listed on an emergency list by the World Health Organization (e.g. Astrazeneca). Mixed vaccinations are also accepted. Here is the full list of approved vaccines, along with acceptable ways to verify vaccination.

The vaccination requirement does not apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents or US nationals.

Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is currently not required indoors on public transport, including airplanes, buses, trains and other forms of public transport. Find out more here under the heading “During the trip / Masks”.

All passengers bound for the United States are required to provide airline contact information prior to boarding flights bound for the United States.

How is the Covid situation?

Since the pandemic began in 2020, there have been more than 86.7 million cases and more than 1 million deaths in the United States as of June 23. Get more details with CNN’s Covid tracker.

As of June 23, more than 592 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide. That equates to 178 doses per 100 people. See CNN’s state breakdown here.

What can visitors expect?

The United States is now almost completely open to places that tourists typically enjoy: national and state parks, museums, restaurants, entertainment venues, theme parks, and the like.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the rules of your destination before you travel. This CNN guide provides links to Covid rules and safety information for each state.

Popular tourist attractions are easing or dropping many of their latest Covid-19 restrictions:

• New York City: Key to NYC requirements were lifted on March 7th. Proof of vaccination is no longer required for guests of the city’s indoor dining, fitness and entertainment facilities. Learn more about visiting New York City here.

• Las Vegas: Nevada lifted its indoor mask mandate on February 10. Learn more about visiting Las Vegas here.

• Hawai’i: The state of Aloha dropped its statewide indoor mask mandate on March 25. Hawaii’s Safe Travels program expired the same day. Learn more about Hawaii here.

• Puerto Rico: The U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico no longer requires domestic travelers to provide proof of vaccination or take a Covid-19 test prior to arrival, according to Discover Puerto Rico. Entry requirements for international travel are the same as for the United States.

• Disney Parks: Both Disney Resorts (California and Florida) are open. Each park follows local regulations in relation to Covid. In the United States, guests who are not fully vaccinated are advised to wear a mask indoors. Find out about Disney parks in the United States and around the world here.

Other useful links

CDC international travel website

vaccination guidelines

Required documents

Rating of air travel

Our current reporting

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Finally, this gallery of 22 of the best places in America can help you make plans.

The CNN Wire
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