CDC Issues New Guidance For Air Travelers Entering the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued further COVID-19 guidance regarding air travelers entering the U.S. This will affect many employers of foreign national workers who are attempting to travel to the United States. As before, U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, nationals, and immigrant visa holders do not need to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S. However, other non-immigrants and non-U.S. citizens must show proof of vaccination in order to enter the U.S. Additionally, in light of court rulings, the CDC no longer requires masks to be worn on indoor public transportation.

After Arrival

After arrival in the U.S., non-citizens, including temporary visa holders, are required to be vaccinated with limited exceptions. Those that are not vaccinated but are permitted to enter the U.S. due to an exception may be required to attest that:

  • They will receive a COVID-19 viral test within 3-5 days after arrival in the U.S. unless they can produce documentation showing recovery from COVID-19 within the prior 90 days.
  • They will remain in self-quarantine for at least five days unless they can produce documentation showing recovery from COVID-19 within the prior 90 days.
  • They will self-isolate if they develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

For those who intend to reside in the U.S. for greater than 60 days, they may be required to make additional attestation depending upon their category of exception. This may include:

  • Agreeing to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • Having arranged to be fully vaccinated within 60 days or as soon as medically appropriate thereafter.
  • Follow all state, local, territorial, and tribal requirements and recommendations after arriving.

Those who have proof of having recovered from a case of COVID-19 within the prior 90 days do not need to be tested in the 3-5 days after arrival or to self-quarantine. Those who develop COVID-19 symptoms after arriving should be isolated and get tested. They should remain in isolation until learning the results and wear a mask when around others.

All other travelers should receive a viral test within 3-5 days after arrival as well as after developing any symptoms, monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, and follow all state, local, territorial, and tribal requirements.

Travel requirements for foreign national employees are ever-changing and so are employment eligibility requirements. One of the best ways to simplify the process and help ensure compliance is with an I-9 management system. This can help guide HR personnel through the entire process to ensure uniform compliance and provide secure and effective storage of forms and documentation.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.