Anticipated Lifting of US Admission Ban

September 21, 2021

The Biden-Harris administration plans to lift travel restrictions on visitors from most European countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, and other countries that have been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House coronavirus staff announced today that the administration will soon implement new rules lifting all US admission bans for travelers seeking entry from any country. As announced, the new rules are expected to take effect in November 2021. Instead of a blanket prohibition on travel, the new rules will be based on new testing and contact-tracing procedures, as well as COVID-19 vaccination requirements. A formal roll-out of the new rules with additional details is expected soon.

In 2020 and 2021, the Trump and Biden-Harris administrations implemented entry restrictions for individuals who had been present in the following countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry to the United States: Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).

While the current restrictions remain in effect, all individuals who are subject to the prohibition on admission must continue to obtain either a National Interest Exception (NIE) or spend the 14-day period prior to admission in a country that is not subject to the travel restrictions. Those who are not exempt from the admission ban and who have not obtained an NIE or remained in a third country for the requisite period will not be permitted to enter the United States.


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If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Laura C. Garvin 

Washington, DC
Eric S. Bord
Shannon A. Donnelly
Eleanor Pelta

For additional government-related guidance, learn more about our Washington strategic government relations and counseling practice.