The United States has lifted the COVID-19-related entry bans. Fully vaccinated persons are thus allowed to travel to the USA again without detours. However, the COVID-19 testing guidelines remain strict: a negative test result may be no more than one day old.
The official travel authorization for your trip to the USA!
Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can provide proof may travel to the United States by air with an ESTA or visa. COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and quarantine requirements continue to apply to all US travelers.
Travelers are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccination series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccination with vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed on the WHO emergency list. Currently approved vaccines include:
Cross-vaccination with the approved vaccines is also considered a complete vaccination. Proof should ideally be provided via a digital vaccination certificate with a QR code, but an official paper vaccination certificate can also be delivered. We strongly recommend clarifying the desired form of proof with your airline before a flight.
Exemptions from the vaccination requirement for US travel apply to:
For more information on exemptions from the vaccination requirement for US travelers, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Visit the CDC's FAQ section for detailed definitions of medical emergencies, humanitarian emergencies, and the National Interest Exception (NIE).
Travelers who fall under one of the exceptions and are allowed to travel to the United States unvaccinated are subject to more stringent post-entry testing and quarantine requirements than vaccinated travelers.
Children under the age of 18 (i.e., ages 0-17 at the time of travel) fall under CDC exemptions and may travel to the United States by air unvaccinated.
All travelers two years of age and older will need either a negative COVID-19 test no more than one day old or proof of recovery no more than 90 days ago to enter the USA.
The testing and quarantine requirements before and after entry into the US are as follows:
USA trip with vaccination
USA trip without vaccination
Test required 24 hours before entry?
Second test required after entry?
3 - 5 days after arrival
Quarantine in case of a negative test result?
|Quarantine required in case of a positive test result?||
With symptoms: 10 days
Without symptoms: 5 days
With symptoms: 10 days
Without symptoms: 5 days
|COVID-19 vaccination after entry?||No||
Must be done no later than after 60 days in the US
 Exceptions to the testing requirement 3 - 5 days after arrival in the United States apply to unvaccinated US citizens, Green Card holders, US military personnel, airline crewmembers, and persons with COVID-19 recovery certificates who can demonstrate that they have not been recovered for more than 90 days.
 Exceptions from the 7-day quarantine even with a negative test result apply to US citizens, Green Card holders, US military personnel, airline crewmembers, children under 18 years of age, COVID-19 vaccine study participants, or COVID-19 convalescents with a documented history of recovery no longer than 90 days.
 Exceptions from mandatory vaccination after a maximum of 60 days in the USA apply to US citizens, Green Card holders, US military personnel, airline crew members, persons with medical contraindication, and children under 18 years of age.
Airline crewmembers flying under C-1/D visa categories are exempt from the COVID-19 testing requirement for US travel, subject to certain conditions.
Please note that the requirements vary by US state. Check local testing and quarantine rules before entering a US state. Full details can be found on the CDC website.
For more on the COVID-19 testing requirement or proof of recovery, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html
Using the CDC's online tool, you can quickly find out what requirements apply to you once you enter the United States by answering a few questions.
The CDC's infographic also provides a handy overview of current regulations.
As the current situation in the USA is very dynamic, it is not possible to make any general statements about all rules and restrictions. Before each trip to the United States, find out about the current entry requirements on a daily basis - ideally via the website of your airline.
A submitted COVID-19 test must not be older than one day. The decisive factor here is the departure time. Different rules may apply for connecting flights and connections over 24 hours, which you can read on the CDC website.
Instead of a negative COVID-19 test, you can also present proof that you have recovered from COVID-19. If neither is provided, airlines are encouraged to deny you boarding.
Evidence of a negative COVID-19 test must meet the following requirements:
If your flight is delayed so much that your test will be beyond the required period before departure, you will need to be retested.
Documents proving that you have already recovered from COVID-19 must meet the following requirements:
So far, no official language regulations have been communicated. Since the airlines are responsible for collecting passenger data, test results, and supporting documents, it is currently assumed that you can submit all documents in your local language.
For each traveler two years of age or older, a separate statement must be submitted. For those under the age of 18, documents may be submitted by immediate family members or through a legal guardian.
Nevertheless, the above requirements for documents regarding the form, dates, and age of a COVID-19 test also apply.
Your airline will ask you to complete a passenger certificate and take a test or submit all required documentation a few days before your flight.
Since processes vary from airline to airline, please follow the instructions on your airline's website or contact them directly.
Airlines require the following information from US travelers prior to their departure:
Entry across the Canadian or Mexican land border is possible again for international travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Children under 18 years of age, US citizens, and Green Card holders may enter unvaccinated.
In addition, for certain other groups without vaccination, there is a transition period until January 2022, during which urgent travel ("essential travel") is possible.
Yes, you can submit an ESTA application for your trip to the USA at any time. An ESTA entry permit is valid for 2 years and can be used for multiple entries within this period. Although VISA applications currently involve a longer waiting time due to the high volume at US consulates and embassies, ESTA applications are still processed promptly, so you will receive your entry permit after 72 hours at the latest.
In March 2020, former President Trump had declared a national emergency, and several states imposed lockdowns. Public life came to a complete standstill with the closure of restaurants, casinos, theaters and more. Public schools were also closed nationwide, and almost all universities and colleges switched to online courses.
The Travel Ban imposed a short time later for all countries in the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, China (incl. Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, and India was repeatedly extended in several steps and supplemented by additional countries.
For travel to the USA from the countries affected by the Travel Ban, the so-called 14-day rule applied. According to this rule, you were not affected by the entry ban if you originated from one of the risk areas but had stayed elsewhere for 14 days.
cdc.gov, travel.state.gov, auswaertiges-amt.de