When Will International Travel Return? A Country-by-Country Guide to Coronavirus Recovery

The United States was for many months the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. had more cases than any country in the world in late 2020 and early 2021. Cases have now declined to levels reported before the winter surge.

Important for travelers to the U.S. to know: As of Jan. 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers two years of age and older traveling to the U.S. from abroad to take a viral COVID-19 test within 72 hours (three days) of departure for the U.S. and provide documentation of a negative PCR or Antigen result to their airline before being allowed to board; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. This applies to both non-citizens as well as U.S. citizens, even those who are fully vaccinated, returning to the U.S. from any international destination (with the exception of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

President Joseph R. Biden also signed an executive order soon after taking office in late January 2021 that mandates the wearing of masks on federal property and domestic public transportation, including planes and airports. It was recently extended through Sept. 13, 2021. The CDC currently recommends that non-vaccinated travelers get tested 3-5 days after any travel and isolate for seven days, or isolate for 10 days after travel without testing. It is advised that even fully vaccinated individuals get tested 3-5 days after returning from international travel, but they do not have to self-isolate.

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