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Explained: How the US Will Lift Travel Restrictions

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8th November 2021

US President Biden’s administration is lifting its ban on people entering the USA, scrapping restrictions put in place early in the pandemic.

While travel to other European countries has been possible for a few months now, heading off to the US for a holiday or to see loved ones has remained off the table. Now with this exciting news about the lifting of the ban on entry to the US, that’s all set to change!

From November 8 Irish holidaymakers will be able to enter the US if they meet the requirements below.

It’s so great to hear that travellers from Ireland and elsewhere will finally be able to take those long-anticipated trips or reunite with their loved ones after so long apart. We’ve already seen a huge boost in interest from our loyal customers about booking a holiday to America. 

See our latest USA offers with deposits just 50pp -->

When will the new rules come into place?

The US government has announced that fully vaccinated holidaymakers will be able to enter the US from November 8.

Who will be able to enter the US after the ban is lifted?

After the restrictions are officially lifted, the doors will be open for holidaymakers from 33 different countries including Ireland and most other European countries.

If you’re fully vaccinated against COVID 19 and can provide a negative PCR test from within 3 days prior to arrival and undergo contact tracing, you’ll be free to enter the US. You must present proof of vaccination from an official source.

Those requirements again are:

  • Be fully vaccinated
  • AND present negative PCR test within 3 days prior to travel
  • AND undergo Contact Tracing by airline for 30 days after arrival

Which vaccines will be accepted and what kind of proof will be required?

Most widely used vaccines will be accepted as long as they were approved for use by the FDA or WHO.

What about children?

Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccine requirement.

However, children between the ages of 2-17 must still present a negative test. If the child is travelling with a fully vaccinated adult, then an unvaccinated child can test 3 days prior to departure. If an unvaccinated child is travelling alone or with unvaccinated adults they will have to present a negative test from 24 hours before departure.

Are there any exemptions?

There will be some limited exemptions to the vaccine requirements. Unvaccinated US citizens will be able to enter the US if they present a negative test taken within 24 hours prior to travel.

Exemptions are allowed for those with valid medical reasons for not getting vaccinated and those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian needs, or those who participated in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.

The CDC has not allowed exemptions for those unvaccinated due to religious or other moral reasons. There are some other exemptions for those from countries with very low vaccination rates.

Where can I get up to date information?

The CDC has prepared some excellent resources:

This quiz will tell you if you're allowed to enter the US and what you'll need

Check this FAQ from the CDC for more

The latest travel advice can change at short notice so always check the latest advice.

Head to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

You can also take a look at our advice for Getting Ready to Travel Again here on our blog.


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