Answering your questions this week about traveling to the US with kids

Oct 29, 2021

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With the U.S. reopening just over a week away, we’re answering five more reader questions regarding all you need to know about traveling with kids to the U.S. on Nov. 8 and beyond.

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Here are this week’s top five questions:

In This Post

1. When will kids be able to get vaccinated for travel?

Back in September, vaccine manufacture Pfizer announced it would be seeking FDA approval for its COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously on Oct. 26 to recommend emergency use authorization to do so. This means it’s unlikely that most children will be fully vaccinated in time for Thanksgiving travel this year, but health experts think kids can reasonably expect to be partially vaccinated by Thanksgiving, allowing more hope for full vaccination by Christmas.

(Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

2. What are the vaccine requirements for children traveling to the U.S.?

We learned more concrete details this week about what entry requirements will look like for incoming travelers to the U.S. when borders reopen on Nov. 8. One looming question is how COVID-19 protocols will affect travelers under a certain age. Although non-U.S. citizens will need to be vaccinated to enter the country, vaccine proof is not required for travelers under the age of 18, children included.

(Photo by Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

3. What are the testing requirements for children traveling to the U.S.?

Unlike the aforementioned vaccination exemption for incoming air passengers to the U.S., all travelers over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status, are expected to show results of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the U.S. by plane. However, the window in which such a test must be taken depends on your vaccination status.

Per guidance issued on Oct. 25, we now know that unvaccinated travelers must present results of a negative test taken within one day of travel to the U.S., in addition to taking a second test upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals on the other hand, can continue to show results of a test taken within three days of scheduled departure.

Unvaccinated children traveling with fully vaccinated adults can show proof of a negative test taken within three days before departure to align with the testing timeline for fully vaccinated adults. But unvaccinated children traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults must adhere to the one-day testing requirement.

Regardless of your vaccinations status, you can submit either a rapid antigen or PCR test for entry.

(Photo by Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images)

4. Are the entry requirements the same for land and air?

This week’s guidance issued by the U.S. government only applies to air travel for now, although they expect similar requirements to be applicable at the land border.

For example, foreign nationals crossing land borders via Mexico or Canada must adhere to vaccination proof requirements, however, a negative COVID-19 test is not required to enter the U.S. by land for now.

Additional U.S. reopening details can be found here.

(Photo by Mark Spowart/Getty Images)

5. Got any tips for making the airport easier with kids?

I would think that an expedited security program such as Clear would aid in the stress of traveling with kids as it allows you to bypass the normal two-step security process at U.S. airports through a fingerprint or iris scan. Clear users are able to pass through their own identity verification lane via a designated Clear kiosk rather than waiting in the normal security line to show their ID and boarding pass to TSA. At this point, Clear users are moved to the front of the second security screening line.

Clear is a great option for families traveling together since children under 18 may use the Clear line for free when traveling with Clear users. Additionally, Clear recently unveiled a new service called “Reservation Lane powered by Clear” at Orlando International Airport (MCO), which allows flyers to plan for a timed and expedited entry through security. Read more about how you can use Clear here.

(Photo by Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Got a question for next week? Email me at caroline.tanner @ thepointsguy dotcom or tips@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo of Tang Ming Tung via Getty Images

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