Omicron COVID-19 variant travel restrictions lifted
Updated: January 4, 2022
January 4, 2022
The US government has revoked the restriction on entry for travelers with recent physical presence in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe (read the presidential proclamation here).
Effective December 31st at 12:01am EST, individuals traveling from any of these countries are no longer subject to any specific geographical restrictions on entry to the US. All travelers to the US (regardless of point of departure) are still subject to the current COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements. For more information on the current entry requirements, please visit the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ page.
November 29, 2021
In response to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the US Government is suspending the entry of people with recent physical presence in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe (read the presidential proclamation here).
Starting at 12:01 am ET on November 29, 2021, people who have been physically present in any of these countries within 14 days before traveling to the US will be barred from entry, unless they qualify for an exception. This rule will remain in place until terminated by President Biden.
The list of individuals who may qualify for an exception includes:
- US citizens
- US lawful permanent residents
- Spouses and certain family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents
- A foreign national coming to the US at the invitation of the US government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest
Please note that at the time of publication of this webpage, the national interest exception criteria are not yet known. The US government has not announced if they would apply the same criteria as before. The US Department of State has published a website (link no longer active), and we expect that they will incorporate additional implementation details.
- Additional individuals who may qualify for an exception are listed here.
Please visit the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ page for additional resources on COVID-19 and the vaccine related to international travel.
We understand that any US entry related changes may cause anxiety and frustration. We are reaching out to international students and scholars from these countries, as well as those who have let us know that they would be traveling to these countries via the Travel e-form. Please contact your ISSS advisor if you have any questions or need support.