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Here's what we know about the US reopening on Nov. 8

Oct. 26, 2021
5 min read
Orlando, Florida, United States - People wait in line at a TSA security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport on Thanksgiving eve, November 25, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. Thousands of travelers are ignoring CDC warnings to avoid holiday travel as COVID-19 cases are surging across the United States
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Editor's Note

This is a continually updated story

As the United States moves closer to its Nov. 8 reopening date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State Department and White House issued more specific guidance regarding vaccination and testing requirements for incoming travelers to the U.S. earlier this week.

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As previously announced on Oct. 15, the U.S. will reopen its borders on Nov. 8 to both fully vaccinated international visitors and returning U.S. citizens.

"Today’s announcement means that on Nov. 8, non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to fly to the United States," the CDC said in a press statement. "There will be very limited exceptions to this vaccination requirement for certain non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants, including children under the age of 18."

Vaccination proof required for non-U.S. citizens

Vaccination proof will be required for all non-U.S. citizens entering the U.S. starting Nov. 8. Passengers are considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose of a two-dose or one-dose vaccine.

Acceptable vaccines are those that have been authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Cvishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Additional information on acceptable COVID-19 vaccines is available from the CDC. The CDC declined to comment for this story.

Passengers will need to show a vaccination record to airlines for proof of vaccination, including via a hard paper copy, photo of the record or digital version. Airlines will be responsible for determining that the record was issued by an official source in the country the vaccine was administered, per the State Department.

Read more: New travel restrictions will require unvaccinated Americans to face additional testing

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Predeparture testing still required for all, regardless of vaccination status

While U.S. citizens entering the U.S. will not be required to show vaccination proof, all travelers over the age of 2, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, are subject to a predeparture testing requirement to enter the country, either via a rapid antigen or PCR test.

Per new guidance issued on Oct. 25, unvaccinated travelers will be subject to stricter testing requirements and must show proof of a negative test taken within one day of travel to the U.S., in addition to a second test upon arrival. Vaccinated individuals on the other hand, must show results of a test taken within three days of scheduled departure to the country.

"Fully vaccinated air passengers, regardless of citizenship, will continue to be required to show a negative predeparture COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before they board their flight to the United States," said the CDC. "For passengers who are not fully vaccinated, the rules will tighten to require a test taken no more than one day before departing to the United States."

Therefore, vaccinated U.S. citizens should still submit proof of vaccination to their airline before departure to the U.S. in order to qualify to the three-day testing window, per the State Department.

Travelers under 18 are exempt from vaccine requirements, but not predeparture testing

"Children under 18 are exempted from the vaccination requirement for foreign national travelers, given both the ineligibility of some younger children for vaccination, as well as the global variability in access to vaccination for older children who are eligible to be vaccinated," says the State Department, who notes that children between the ages of 2 and 17 are still required to submit results of a predeparture test.

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. However, unvaccinated children traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults must adhere to the one-day testing requirement.

Those under age 2 are exempted from testing requirements.

Related: Will young kids be vaccinated in time for holiday travel? Here’s what we know

Contact tracing

In addition to the aforementioned testing and vaccine proof requirements, all incoming air travelers must provide contact info to airlines before boarding their flight to allow for COVID-19 contact tracing.

"This will allow airlines to better coordinate with public health agencies to share information when needed to keep the public safe and informed, and strengthen their ability to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19," said the CDC.

Bottom line

Although the Presidential Proclamation issued by President Joe Biden earlier this week and subsequent CDC Order only apply to air travel, a White House official previously told TPG that they expect similar requirements to be applicable at the land border as well.

"Also starting on November 8, foreign nationals crossing the land borders with Canada and Mexico or arriving in the United States by passenger ferry for non-essential reasons, such as to visit friends or family or for tourism, will be required to be fully vaccinated, they said via email. "These travelers are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and to present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request. By January, foreign nationals traveling across the land border for both essential and non-essential reasons will be required to be fully vaccinated."

Read more: US will allow vaccinated British, EU travelers from November

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more