US and The Netherlands lifts travel restrictions imposed on southern Africa.
The United States announced that travelling between the US and southern Africa can resume on the 31st of December.
The ban was originally imposed on November 29 in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, based on a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, travelers will still need to abide by U.S. COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements to travel to the United States.
- Only foreign nationals who present official certification of having received the full course of vaccinations and who also present proof of a negative COVID test performed no more than one day prior to departure may enter the US by air.
- For entry into the U.S. by land post or ferry terminal, until January 2022, foreign nationals will be allowed entry if they present official proof of having received the full course of vaccinations. From January 2022 onwards, foreign nationals wishing to enter the US by land post or ferry terminal will be required to present a vaccination record and also a negative COVID test result.
- Full vaccination: 14 days must have passed since the second dose of the vaccine was received (or since the first dose in the case of single-dose vaccines such as Janssen/Johnson&Johnson) before travel to the United States can begin.
- Only vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (which, as of December 2021, are the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen/Johnson&Johnson vaccines) and those approved by the World Health Organisation (which as of November December 2021 are, in addition to the three above, the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Serum institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines) are valid.
- The US authorities accept that the full vaccination schedule can be carried out with a combination of different vaccines (as long as both have been approved by the FDA or WHO).
According to information published by the US authorities, the US authorities do not allow entry into the US for persons who have received only one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, even in cases where such persons have previously passed the coronavirus.
- Proof of vaccination must be a paper or digital record issued by an official source (e.g. public health agency, government agency) and must include the traveller’s name and date of birth, as well as the vaccine product and date(s) of administration of all doses received. The digital vaccination certificate issued by the European Union is accepted as proof of vaccination.
- Valid covid tests: PCRs and antigen tests are considered valid by the US authorities.
All international travellers entering the US must agree to the release of their personal contact details to the US authorities, so that they can be contacted in the event that they are potentially infected or have been in contact with covid-infected persons.
These requirements also apply to travellers making a stopover at a US airport for onward travel to a third country.
As of midnight on 23 December, the Netherlands has also lifted its strict travel restrictions to southern African countries. These countries are still designated as very high risk areas with a coronavirus variant of concern.
The Dutch government stated that passengers must still meet test and quarantine requirements.
- As per the regulations, all travellers older than 12 years of age must be in possession of a negative polymerase chain reaction PCR test not older than 48-hours before departure or an antigen test that’s up to 24-hours old before departure from their country.
- Travellers from ‘high-risk’ countries like South Africa, must self-quarantine for 10 days even if they have proof of vaccination or proof of recovery. This quarantine period can be shortened if they get tested by the municipal health service (GGD) on day five of the quarantine and the result is negative.
Travelers must always have a completed quarantine declaration, even if you do not have to quarantine.