New CDC Orders on Proof of Vaccination and Testing Requirements for Passengers Traveling to the United States

November 12, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently issued new Orders requiring that all foreign travelers planning to travel to the U.S. by air provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19, in order to gain entry into the U.S.  The CDC has also issued a checklist, available here, to help airline personnel in confirming proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative qualifying test results or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 for all passengers traveling to the U.S.  The checklist includes 11 steps broken down into three parts, which we have summarized for you as follows:

PART ONE:

Determine if the passenger is a Covered Individual (i.e. any non-U.S. citizen seeking to enter the United States by air with a nonimmigrant visa; any non-U.S. citizen seeking to enter the United States by air who has been granted an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) as part of the Visa Waiver Program; etc.).

Determine if the passenger could be considered a noncovered individual (i.e. U.S. citizens; U.S. nationals; U.S. lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders); Non-U.S. citizens seeking to enter the U.S. as immigrants; Non-US citizens seeking to enter the U.S. by land or sea travel). 

Determine if the passenger has proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (NOTE: If the passenger does not have proof of being fully vaccinated, the passenger must meet criteria for an exception to this requirement, and show appropriate documentation, in order to board a flight to the U.S).

Confirm that the passenger’s proof of vaccination includes all of the following information:

The personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) on the proof of vaccination match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel identification document;

The name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider) is provided;

Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination; and

The passenger meets CDC’s definition of Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19.

Confirm that the passenger has received an accepted type of COVID-19 vaccine.

Confirm that the passenger meets the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 (i.e. 2 weeks (14 days) or more since a person received one dose of an accepted single-dose-series COVID-19 vaccine, 2 weeks (14 days) or more since a person’s second dose in a 2-dose series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine, etc.).

 

PART TWO 

Check if the passenger intends to show a negative COVID-19 test result (option A) or documentation of recovery (option B). 

To prove a negative test result under Option A:

The test taken by the passenger must have been a viral test.

The test must include where the test was performed.

The test must show a specimen collection date 1 day or 3 days (depending on vaccination status) or less before flight departure.

The test must include information that identifies the person.

The test result must be negative.

 

To show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 under Option B:

The test taken by the passenger must have been a viral test.

The test must include where the test was performed.

The test must show a specimen collection date within the last 90 days.

The test must include information that identifies the person.

The test result must be positive.

The passenger must also have a signed letter stating that the passenger is cleared for travel (i.e. from a licensed healthcare provider/public health official, signed on letterhead, etc.  This can also be a letter that shows that the person is cleared to end isolation).

 

PART THREE 

Ensure that all Covered Individuals (i.e., noncitizen, nonimmigrant) have completed and signed Section 1 AND Section 2 of the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation. 

Ensure that all Non-Covered Individuals (i.e., US Citizens, US Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, Immigrants, etc.) two years of age or older have completed and signed Section 1 of the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation. 

In addition to the checklist summarized above, the CDC has also issued scripts in 11 languages including Amharic, Bengali, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.  The CDC recommends that airline personnel use these scripts with passengers during boarding and upon arrival to ensure that passengers are reminded of the combined vaccine and testing order compliance checks.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CDC’s Orders, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you have any questions, please contact Evelyn Sahr (esahr@eckertseamans.com or 202-659-6622); Drew Derco (dderco@eckertseamans.com or 202-659-6665), or Andy Orr (aorr@eckertsemans.com or 202-659-6625).

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Authors

Evelyn D. Sahr Photo Washington, D.C.

Evelyn D. Sahr

Member - Washington, D.C.

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Drew M. Derco Photo Washington, D.C.

Drew M. Derco

Member - Washington, D.C.

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Andrew P. Orr Photo Washington, D.C.

Andrew P. Orr

Associate - Washington, D.C.

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