OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED: The vaccination requirement to enter the USA is ending on May 11th at the end of the day! As early as midnight on May 12th, there will be no COVID-19 requirements for all travelers who want to go to the United States.
Here are the details of the elimination of the USA vaccination requirement.
(And as a reminder, whether it’s to travel to the U.S. or elsewhere, make sure to check out the great deals currently giving you $800+ in free travel in our ranking of the best credit cards in Canada or the best credit cards in the USA for travelers!)
Updates about the United States vaccination requirement
Here are all the last months’ updates about the vaccination requirement in the USA.
Reminder of the current vaccination rule in the USA
You can read all the details about the American rules in our ultimate guide on how to travel to the United States, including an infographic to sum it all up.
Announcement of the end of the requirement (May 1)
Just as we predicted the last time it was extended in April, the elimination of the USA’s vaccine requirement has been officially confirmed by the White House on May 1st.
It’s simple: EVERYTHING will be eliminated at the end of the day on May 11th, finally! As early as May 12th, EVERY traveler will be allowed to enter without pandemic-related requirements, with no exceptions.
It was about time they followed the actual science!
This applies for entry by:
- Land (even though it already was not often enforced)
- Sea (from Canada and Mexico; the rule never existed for other countries)
You can read the official announcement from the President if you want to subject yourself to the political spin (I don’t recommend it: it’s over, that’s it!).
The Department of Homeland Security has also confirmed it for entry by land/sea from Canada and Mexico.
Changes to the definition of “vaccinated” (April 19 and April 27)
This has NOTHING to do with the end date. But believe it or not… the USA has finally changed something about their vaccination requirement. It’s the very first change to the requirement since it was launched back in 2021.
And the change is not to remove the requirement, or to stop accepting vaccines received over 2 years ago that scientifically have absolutely no effect anymore.
No, they have changed the definition of vaccinated to include 2 new 1-dose options.
The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson and CanSinoBIO vaccines were the only ones accepted if you had only received 1 dose. Since April 19, the new bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are accepted even if you had just 1 dose. It really has to be the new vaccine though, not the old monovalent one from Pfizer or Moderna.
On April 27, they tweaked it again to also accept all Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna as 1-dose vaccines IF they were received after August 16th, 2022.
Weird that they would change that if everything is going to end in less than 2 weeks, but they were probably just aligning with unrelated CDC guidelines.
New law to eliminate one of the states of emergencies (April 10)
In the USA, both houses of Congress must vote to create legislation (the House of Representatives and the Senate).
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted to end the national emergency declaration (but NOT the public health emergency). And on March 29, in a bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate also voted to end the national emergency declaration.
(This has nothing to do with the House vote to end the vaccination requirement, which still hasn’t been passed by the Senate!)
Biden was “strongly opposed” to this new bill but had confirmed he would not veto it.
Biden had 10 days (Sundays excluded) after the Senate vote to sign the bill into law. He took all the time he had and signed that into law on April 10.
The national emergency declaration is no more. They didn’t change anything about the public health emergency, which is still in effect until May 11th, as announced in January.
Most importantly, they have still not mentioned anything about the entry requirements for travelers.
As much as the rules themselves are illogical (very), it’s actually a simple concept really: every rule is a separate rule. The vaccination requirement will end when the rule about the vaccination requirement will be lifted (and we’ll let you know of course).
Really, this all has nothing to do with the USA vaccination requirement at all for now, unfortunately.
Absolutely nothing has changed since November 8th, 2021 in terms of the USA vaccination requirement in fact.
Renewal of the requirement (April 4th)
On April 4th, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the federal agency that manages transportation security in the United States, subtly issued an emergency amendment.
This document says the vaccination requirement has been extended to May 11, 2023 (but that could be extended too). That seems unlikely though.
Announcement of the end of the states of emergencies (January 30)
On January 30th 2023, the American President confirmed that the USA’s 2 separate states of emergency would be lifted on May 11, 2023. He didn’t say anything at all about travel rules.
I repeat: that really has nothing to do with travel rules. Nothing. It’s that simple.
Travel requirements are something completely separate and distinct from the states of emergency. Just as they have been all along and as Flytrippers has told you for many many months.
So the end of the states of emergency, in and of itself, really doesn’t mean anything for travelers. The travel rules come from a presidential proclamation, not from the state of emergency.
But obviously, the end of the states of emergency is a good sign. It’s not guaranteed to end the travel rules, unfortunately. But it’s a very good sign.
Start of the vaccination requirement (November 8, 2021)
The U.S. vaccination requirement has been in place for almost 1.5 years.
Before that, in 2020, the United States declared:
- A national state of emergency
- A state of public health emergency
Those 2 states of emergency have nothing to do with travel rules, but a lot of people have a hard time understanding this. So many people mixed literally everything together in terms of travel rules during this pandemic.
Details of the previous renewal of the vaccination requirement in the United States
Here are more details about the last renewal in April.
Impact of the renewed requirement
There is actually no change. The current rules remain in place as is.
The renewal doesn’t change the outdated definition of “vaccinated”: it’s still 2 doses of vaccine (or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). You must have the required number of doses for a minimum of 14 days, but there’s no maximum timeline.
So someone who got a vaccine 2 years ago without a booster dose can enter the USA, but someone who had COVID-19 a month ago and is immunized cannot enter.
And this requirement that is so vital to protect Americans [sic] continues to not apply if you arrive by sea from countries other than Canada and Mexico, because science.
And it’s those who criticize that who are wrong according to some “experts” who suffer from covidanxiety and won’t get over this before 2025, if ever.
Entry by air vs. entry by land
This document says that it applies only to air entry, because of a technicality.
This is because the presidential proclamation requiring vaccination for entry into the US is formalized in separate rules for air and land:
- TSA is in charge of the air component
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in charge of the land component
As mentioned, thousands of unvaccinated Canadians already enter the US by land anyway.
But it seems the requirement still officially applies for entry by land too, according to the official CBP website.
It would’ve been surprising for them to officially lift the requirement just by land.
That wouldn’t make much sense… but of course, there’s nothing very logical about any of this, so we never know! We’ll keep following this.
The “logic” behind this renewal
Let’s remember that:
- President Biden declared in September 2022 that the pandemic was over (a true “conspiracy theorist”)
- The US federal public health agency, the CDC, has stated in August 2022 what “conspiracy theorists” have been saying for a long time: having recommendations based on vaccination status makes no sense
- The experts are clear: considering 2 doses received more than a year ago as being up-to-date in terms of vaccination is absolutely antiscientific and absurd
The worst part about this isn’t that the USA says it’s following the science.
The worst part is that there are naive people out there who still really believe that.
End date for the USA vaccination requirement
Obviously, as always, the theoretical end date proposed by the government is just an arbitrary date.
They could obviously extend the requirement after May 11, as they just did.
Or even lift it in advance if their Senate forces them to. Or if the political science changes by then, and it becomes more politically rewarding to remove the rule than to keep it. That’s the only thing that has guided all travel rules for years now, whether it’s in the USA or in Canada.
However, it does seem extremely likely to end on May 11 this time.
Because the USA announced a while ago that their 2 states of emergency related to the pandemic would end on May 11 (at the end of the day). The states of emergency have no direct impact on the entry rule, but their removal is a good sign.
(It wouldn’t be logical to end everything except the vaccination requirement. But then again, do they seem like they’re following what’s logical in any of this…)
They extended it to the 11th instead of the 10th as it was before, adding an extra day to coincide with the end of the public health emergency. So that’s a good sign.
The last time they had extended the vaccination requirement, they added 3 months. Now they added just 1 month and 1 day. Another good sign.
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Congress and the USA vaccination requirement
On March 29th, the U.S. Senate voted to lift the national state of emergency (1 of the 2 states of emergency), but that has no impact on the entry rule.
MANY people and “experts” mix up everything, as they have for years with pandemic rules.
Look at this edit to a story from Forbes, which was initially published saying the Senate had voted to remove the vaccine requirement… and was then corrected because the Senate most definitely did NOT do that; the state of emergency has nothing to do with the entry rules, as Flytrippers has been telling you for months.
Edit: This article has been updated to reflect the current information (as of the time of publishing). Previously, this article mentioned a possible removal of the vaccine mandate for foreign air travelers, which was incorrect.
— Forbes story about the Senate vote
It’s just one of many examples. An “expert” on the radio this week said that the USA didn’t have a vaccine mandate, but rather it was the airlines that were requiring that (that’s completely false too; airlines have literally never imposed a vaccination requirement, they just applied the countries’ rules obviously).
And to be clear, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to lift the vaccination requirement on February 8th, but that has no concrete impact either. The U.S. Senate must also vote, and nothing has happened on that front since February 13th. Of course, we’re watching this for you too.
In short, nothing is changing.
When it will change, we’ll let you know here, of course.
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It’s officially confirmed: the United States is eliminating its vaccination requirement for entry by air at the end of the dayy on May 11th, 2023. It applies for entry by air, by land (even though it already was not often enforced), and by sea (from Canada and Mexico; the rule never existed for other countries).
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