White House Reinstates Pandemic Travel Restrictions
President Biden has issued a continuation of previous travel restrictions from the Schengen Area, U.K., and Ireland, which were initially scheduled to be lifted on January 26, 2021 due to the previous President's order discussed in our January 19 article. This new Proclamation further adds South Africa to the list of countries with restrictions on entry into the United States and does not currently have an expiration date. As with the previous restrictions on travel from these nations, as well as Iran and China, this new Proclamation prohibits most foreign nationals who have been physically present in one of the listed nations during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States from traveling to the country. Even if a foreign national is able to travel to a third country not listed in this Proclamation and wait for a full 14-day period, they will also be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test to airlines within three days prior to their departure.
Travelers to the United States should be advised that this Proclamation does not apply to lawful permanent residents, citizens of the United States, or spouses, children, and some siblings of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. For more information regarding the specifics of such exceptions, please see the explicit language of this Proclamation and feel free to reach out to our office with any travel questions that may arise. Such restrictions are expected to last while the pandemic continues to spread globally and, as the new COVID-19 variants spread to different nations, additional countries may be added to this list. Our office will keep you updated regarding any material changes to these policies as they arise.