The United States has lifted the COVID-19 testing requirement for travelers from abroad. However, the general vaccination requirement remains in place.
Effective January 5th, 2023, the USA is introducing new restrictions for travelers from China and the Chinese Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Air travelers, regardless of nationality, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test not older than two days before departure. Submit your ESTA application now to travel to the USA visa-free!
Individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can provide proof of this may travel to the USA with an ESTA or visa.
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 post-entry testing and quarantine requirements.
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 unvaccinated.
The USA has lifted the COVID-19 pre-entry COVID testing requirement. However, those traveling to the United States under a waiver without full vaccination will still be required to test for COVID-19 and undergo isolation upon arrival.
The current requirements for COVID-19 testing and quarantine after entering the USA as an unvaccinated individual with a waiver are as follows:
Neither rule applies if you can show that you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days.
If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate yourself. Find out the length of isolation by using the CDC's Quarantine and Isolation Calculator.
If you intend to stay in the United States for 60 days or more, get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arrival (or as soon as medically appropriate).
If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but your vaccinations are not up to date, quarantine yourself for 5 days after entering the United States and follow the additional recommendations for all travelers to the United States.
The USA recommends that all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, be tested for current infection 3-5 days after arrival with a COVID-19 virus test.
Monitor yourself. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself and get tested. If your test result is positive, continue to isolate yourself to protect others from infection.
Suppose you have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days. In that case, you are not required to be tested or placed in isolation after entering the United States (you are only required to do so if you develop symptoms).
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.
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.
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.
Since October 2022, you have to apply for an ESTA to enter the US by land. Previously, the ESTA requirement only applied to travel by air or sea, while car and train travelers crossed the border with a hand-filled I-94 entry form. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has now decided to standardize the ESTA program.
Apply for your ESTA now to travel to the USA visa-free.
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.
cdc.gov, travel.state.gov, auswaertiges-amt.de