What you need to know before you go


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

The latest

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

While the CDC still recommends everyone 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask on public transportation, masks are currently not required on airplanes, trains and other means of public transit.

What’s on offer

The size and scope of the United States gives travelers so many choices.

There are awe-inspiring landscapes (Alaska, Utah and the Maine coastline) and world-renowned city breaks (New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles).

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

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

Who can go

The United States no longer has any Covid-related travel bans in place against specific countries.

Visitors 18 and older who are not US citizens, US nationals, lawful permanent residents or green card holders must be fully vaccinated to enter. Children 17 and younger 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 test for Covid-19 as close as possible to their 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 before arrival.

As of June 21, boosters were not required to be considered fully vaccinated.

The vaccine must either be approved by the US Federal Drug Administration or must have an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (such as Astrazeneca). Mixed dose vaccinations will also be accepted. Find the complete list of accepted vaccines here, along with acceptable ways to prove vaccination.

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

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is currently not required in indoor areas of public transportation, including on airplanes, buses, trains and other forms of public transit. Learn more here under the “During Travel / Masks” header.

All air passengers to the United States are required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States.

What’s the Covid situation?

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

As of June 23, more than 592 million doses of vaccine have been administered across the country. That translates to 178 doses per 100 people. You can get CNN’s state-by-state breakdown here.

What can visitors expect?

The United States is now almost entirely open for places that tourists typically enjoy: national and state parks, museums, restaurants, entertainment venues, theme parks and such.

It’s important to check the rules of your destinations before travel. This CNN guide provides links to Covid rules and safety information for each state.

Popular tourist spots are easing or dropping many of their last Covid-19 restrictions:

• New York City: The Key to NYC requirements lifted on March 7. Proof of vaccination is no longer required for patrons of the city’s indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues. Find out more about visiting New York City here.

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

• Hawaii: The Aloha State dropped its statewide mask mandate for indoor settings on March 25. Hawaii’s Safe Travels program expired on the same day. Find out more about Hawaii here.

• Puerto Rico: The US territory of Puerto Rico no longer requires that domestic travelers provide proof of vaccination or take a Covid-19 test before arrival, according to Discover Puerto Rico. Entry rules 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 regarding Covid. In the United States, guests who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in indoor spaces. Find out here about Disney parks in the United States and around the world.

More useful links

CDC website for international travel

Vaccination guidelines

Required documentation

Air travel assessment

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Finally, this gallery of 22 of the best places to visit in America can help you start making plans.

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