COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Page last updated: September 12, 2022.

Preamble: The following page details the conditions for travel to the United States during the COVID-19 health crisis. We regularly update the information presented, taking into account the latest measures related to the health crisis that started in early 2020. However, the management of the crisis by the countries imposes changes without notice of the travel rules specific to 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 a U.S. Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA) valid for stays of less than 90 days. To obtain your certificate in a few minutes click on the online form.

End of the ban on entry into the United States for nationals of a European country

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

What documents are required to travel to the United States

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

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

Can an adult travel to the US without being vaccinated?

Foreign adults who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus are not allowed to travel to the United States. It is highly likely that this mandatory rule will continue for a number of years to come, so it is strongly recommended to get vaccinated in order to ever consider traveling to the United States again.

Which vaccine is valid for entering the United States?

To be considered “vaccinated” by the U.S. government, 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 started in the fourth quarter of 2021 in the United States. However, the decree reopening the borders as of November 8, 2021 requires the vaccine only for foreign travelers over 18 years of age.

What proof of vaccination must be presented?

In most European countries, proof of vaccination is provided through a vaccination passport. This certificate of vaccination is displayed in a digital application on the cell phone. The common application for most countries is called CovidSafe. It can be downloaded to all types of smartphones.

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

When a traveler does not have a mobile app to prove their vaccination passport, they must present a valid European certificate of vaccination.

What traveler information is included in the vaccination certificate?

The vaccination certificate, whether digital or printed on a paper document, indicates:

Is the test mandatory for vaccinated travelers?

In order to board a plane bound for the United States, you must have a negative COVID-19 test performed within the last 72 hours before takeoff. This rule is imposed by all airlines operating flights to the United States.

This requirement to present a test less than 72 hours old applies to all fully vaccinated travelers. Children must also present a negative COVID-19 test upon boarding when they are over 2 years old. When unvaccinated children under 18 years of age are traveling alone, the test should be performed no more than 24 hours before boarding. Most European airports have arranged for COVID-19 tests to be conducted at the airport for travelers.

The COVID-19 test result should specify:

Most tests now appear in the vaccine passport mobile app, such as in the CovidSafe app (example with 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 :