Since March 2020, international travel into the United States has been banned by the U.S. government. Due to this ban, the United States, Canada, and Mexico borders remain closed, and international arrivals into the United States are not permitted. These circumstances have left many with questions about when the borders will reopen and what restrictions will be put into place once international travelers are allowed to enter the United States once again. Luckily, for those looking for answers, you may be able to find some clarity soon enough.
The Biden administration recently stated that they’re looking to ease international travel restrictions by May 2021, including travel across the Canadian border, Mexican border, and inbound travel from Europe, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. So what needs to happen for these restrictions to be lifted, and if they are lifted, will it be safe to travel? Here’s what you need to know:
What Travel Restrictions Are Currently in Place?
As of March 31, 2021, the land borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico are closed to non-essential travel. These borders continue to stay closed to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions were put into place on March 21, 2020, and were only supposed to last 30 days, but have been repeatedly extended ever since. The most recent extension is set to last until April 21st, 2021.
When it comes to international travel, former United States President Donald Trump implemented a ban on most non-citizens entering the U.S. last March due to the coronavirus’s rapid spread. Currently, these travel restrictions are still in place.
Which Restrictions Could be Lifted?
The Biden administration has stated that it’s looking to lift several international travel restrictions, including allowing travel across both the Canadian and Mexican borders as well as inbound travel from Brazil, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The hope is that the government will lift these restrictions sometime in May 2021.
Will Americans Be Able to Travel Internationally?
Just because the United States has plans to reopen to some international destinations doesn’t mean that these destinations will reopen to U.S. citizens quite yet. When it comes to Americans traveling internationally, some countries are banning Americans from entering altogether, while others are allowing Americans to enter with restrictions in place (providing a negative COVID-19 test or quarantining for a set number of days, for example).
Furthermore, the United States government is now requiring that all air passengers coming into the U.S. must provide a negative COVID-19 test result or some form of documentation that proves they have recently recovered from COVID-19 before boarding their flight, according to the CDC’s website.
You can find a list of countries that are currently letting in American tourists here.
Is it Safe to Lift Travel Restrictions Right Now?
The coronavirus vaccine rollout in the United States started earlier this year, with millions of Americans continuing to receive the vaccine each month. Even though the United States is working towards rapidly getting its citizens vaccinated, there are very few countries that are keeping the same pace.
For example, as of March 31, 2021, here is a list of the number of vaccine doses administered per 100 people by country:
- The United Kingdom: 50.4 doses per 100 people
- The United State: 42.9 doses per 100 people
- Turkey: 17.4 doses per 100 people
- Germany: 15.4 doses per 100 people
- France: 15.3 doses per 100 people
- Brazil: 8.3 doses per 100 people
If people worldwide aren’t receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the same rate, the number of coronavirus cases could begin to spike once again. If travelers from less-vaccinated countries are allowed to enter the United States, there is some concern that they could further the spread of the coronavirus.
You can go here to keep up to date on the number of coronavirus cases, deaths, and vaccinations by country.
If you’re planning a trip in the near future and need help obtaining or renewing your passport, please feel free to contact our team. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you may have and assist you in receiving a new passport or renewing your old passport. No matter where you’re looking to travel, stay safe, stay healthy, and most of all, enjoy your trip!