Jan 4, 2023
By Caden Pearson
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has quietly extended the requirement for visitors to the United States to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
The United States is the only Western country and one of the few remaining countries worldwide to require such proof of entry.
The latest TSA security directive (pdf) is effective from Jan. 9 to April 10, 2023.
It requires foreign aircraft operators to require each non-U.S., nonimmigrant citizen to present paper or digital documentation for “proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” or documentation proving the person is excepted from taking the vaccine, before boarding a flight to the United States.
A “nonimmigrant” is someone who is not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or is visiting the United States on an immigrant visa.
Being fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), involves having received an accepted single-dose vaccination or a second dose of an accepted 2-dose series at least 14 days ago. There is no need for a booster dose to achieve the criterion.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on Oct. 25, 2021, to adopt an air travel policy that “relies primarily on vaccination as an added tool” to its strategy to resume air travel to the United States as the world began lifting travel restrictions.
The proclamation replaced a previous country-by-country approach for COVID-19-related air travel restrictions.
The CDC issued an order on Oct. 25, 2021, with revisions on Oct. 30, 2021, and April 14, 2022, offering directions on how to implement the president’s proclamation. The proclamation also requires the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that noncitizens excluded from entry are not allowed to board an aircraft bound for the United States.
The security directive is the latest in a string of orders largely matching that of the previous TSA security directives that were made effective for 12 months starting Nov. 8, 2021, that directive was then replaced by another from Nov. 9, 2022, until Jan. 8
Shame they ignore the people entering the US illegally via the southern border.