Travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 health crisis

Last update of the page: April 19, 2022.

Preamble: The page below presents in detail the conditions for travel to the United States during a health crisis due to COVID-19. We regularly update the information presented taking into account the latest measures related to the health crisis which started at the beginning of 2020. However, the management of the crisis by the countries imposes changes without notice of the own travel rules. in each territory, which does not allow us to guarantee that the information below is exhaustive.

For a stay of less than 90 days in the United States: It is not necessary to apply for a transit visa. You can simply apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization issued by the United States (ESTA) and valid for stays of less than 90 days. To obtain your certificate in a few minutes, click on the online form.


End of the travel ban to the USA for nationals of a European country

The United States reopened its borders on November 8, 2021, after 20 months of closure of the territory to foreign travelers. The US administration has decided to reopen the borders, which had been closed in March 2020, but under certain conditions for travelers. For French travelers, the rules imposed on travelers from a country of the European Union apply. Indeed, common and similar rules have been defined by the United States for all European countries.

What documents are needed to travel to the United States?

European nationals, whether as part of a tourist or business trip, are again authorized to enter the United States if they are able to present before boarding, in addition to their documents of travel :

These conditions apply to international air travel. The same rules apply to overland travel when crossing borders.

Can an adult travel to the USA without being vaccinated?

Foreign adults not vaccinated against the coronavirus are not permitted to travel to the United States. It is highly likely that this mandatory rule will be maintained for a number of years to come, so getting the vaccine is strongly recommended so that you can one day consider traveling to the United States again.

Which vaccine is valid for entering the United States?

To be considered “vaccinated” by the US administration, you must have received your last dose of vaccine more than 15 days before your departure. Only the following COVID-19 vaccines are recognized by the United States:

Do children need to be vaccinated?

Vaccination of young adolescents began in the fourth quarter of 2021 in the United States. However, the decree to reopen the borders from November 8, 2021 requires the vaccine only to foreign travelers over 18 years of age.

What proof of vaccine must be presented?

In most European countries, proof of vaccination comes through a vaccination passport. This vaccine certificate is displayed in a digital application on the mobile phone. The application common to most countries is called CovidSafe. It is downloadable on all types of smartphone.

In France, the authorities have chosen to use another application: TousAntiCovid. Whatever the different applications, they can be used within the European Union and for the United States.

When a traveler does not have a mobile application to prove the existence of his vaccination passport, he must present a valid European certificate of vaccination.

What information does the traveler’s certificate contain?

The vaccine certificate, whether digital or printed on a paper document states:

Is the test compulsory for vaccinated travelers?

To be able to board a plane bound for the United States, you must have a negative COVID-19 test carried out within the last 72 hours before take-off. This rule is enforced by all airlines operating flights to the United States.

This requirement to submit a test within 72 hours applies to all fully vaccinated travelers. Children must also test negative for COVID-19 upon boarding when they are over 2 years old. When unvaccinated children under the age of 18 travel alone, the test should be performed a maximum of 24 hours before boarding. Most European airports have made arrangements to be able to perform COVID-19 tests at the airport for travelers.

The result of the COVID-19 test must specify:

Most tests now appear in the vaccine passport mobile application, for example in the CovidSafe application (example with the images below).

What does the European digital vaccine passport look like?

Below are three screenshots of the CovidSafeBe application (Belgium) which in this example contains: