Update to COVID-19 Related International Travel Requirements in Response to Omicron Variant

December 03, 2021
Aaron Lawee

Many of us have been reading about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has been detected in the United States, as well as in Europe, Africa, and other parts of the world.  In response to the new variant, the Biden Administration has made two important changes to the current travel rules:

  1. 1. All international travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States. This is a change from the previous rule, which allowed vaccinated travelers to take a test within three days of the departure. Please note that this only appears to apply to people traveling by plane into the United States; it does not appear to travelers entering the United States through a land border.
  2. 2. Many travelers who have been present in the following eight African countries have been banned:
  • Republic of Botswana
  • Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of Zimbabwe

Please see our previous post from November 22, 2021, (, for further information about travel restrictions and travel tips.

Remember that U.S. consular officer and CBP border officials have broad discretion in issuing visas and admitting foreign nationals into the U.S., so please connect with your attorney well in advance of any travel to ensure you are well prepared and are carrying the necessary documentation to return. If you have any questions about international travel as a nonimmigrant, please contact the attorneys of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan at 312-427-6163 to schedule a consultation.

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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