To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help our country cope during the pandemic, CDC has occasionally issued legally binding orders and regulations.

People must wear face masks in indoor areas of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors at U.S. transportation hubs, including airports.

Air passengers, 2 years or older, traveling to the United States from another country must present a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding their flights. Regardless of vaccination status, passengers ages 2 or older are required to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result from a sample taken no more than 1 day before travel. Alternatively, passengers may present documentation showing that they tested positive for COVID-19 on a sample taken within the past 90 days and have been cleared to travel (documentation of recovery).

CDC issued an Order to implement the President’s direction on safe resumption of global travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided guidance to airlines, other aircraft operators, and passengers in Technical Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions.

All non-U.S.-citizen, non-immigrants, with limited exceptions, traveling to the United States by air must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.

CDC issued an Order on October 25, 2021 requiring airlines and other aircraft operators to collect contact information for passengers before they board a flight to the United States from a foreign country. The purpose of collecting this information is to identify and locate passengers who may have been exposed to a person with a communicable disease for public health follow-up. Airlines will retain the information for 30 days and transmit the information to CDC upon request for contact tracing and public health follow-up to keep people safe.

Following a public health determination, the CDC Director is terminating the Order under 42 U.S.C. §§ 265, 268 and 42 C.F.R. § 71.40 suspending the right to introduce certain persons into the United States. The implementation of the termination of the Order will be on May 23, 2022.

CDC considered multiple factors in its public health assessment and finds that, at this time, the available COVID-19 mitigation tools, as well as the fact that 97% of the U.S. population lives in a county identified as having “low” COVID-19 Community Level, will sufficiently mitigate the COVID-19 risk for U.S. communities and make an order under 42 U.S.C. §§ 265, 268 and 42 C.F.R. § 71.40 no longer necessary. This Termination will be implemented on May 23, 2022, to enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement appropriate COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as scaling up a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants, and prepare for full resumption of regular migration processing under Title 8 authorities.

The initial CDC Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons from Countries where a Communicable Disease Exists was issued on 3/20/2020 pdf icon[2.1 MB, 43 pages], extended on 4/22/2020external icon and extended and amended on 5/19/2020 pdf icon[136 KB, 12 pages]. The Order was replaced with the Order Suspending the Right to Introduce Certain Persons from Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists on 10/16/2020external icon and replaced again on 8/2/2021 pdf icon[296 KB, 24 pages]. This Order and accompanying public health determination terminate all previous orders.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC issued an order suspending the right to introduce certain noncitizens attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico (regardless of country of origin) at or between ports of entry. CDC has terminated the Order with respect to unaccompanied noncitizen children.

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