Updates on COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

January 11, 2022
By International Student & Scholar Services

Update 1/11/2022: Southern Africa Travel Ban Revoked

Just before the new year, the Biden administration issued a proclamation that revoked the US travel ban for individuals who had been present in eight countries in Southern Africa. At this time, there are no longer any country-specific travel bans for travel to the U.S. Instead of country specific bans, the Biden administration has shifted the eligibility basis to enter the United States to U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and negative testing.

The CDC’s general page for COVID-19 exposure related to travel can be found on the CDC website.

Although international travel is still discouraged at this time, we ask that the Penn international community to review this guidance in detail before returning from any trips abroad.

Update 12/06/2021: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have introduced new testing requirements for inbound air travelers to the U.S. Per the CDC, "All air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country at or after 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on December 6, 2021, are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight." See the full guidance on the CDC website.

Original Announcement:

On November 26, 2021, the White House issued a proclamation which imposed restrictions on travel from eight countries in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Please see below for an overview of the new restrictions.  

  • Restrictions: As of November 29, travel restrictions are in place for travelers who were physically present in the following countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States:
    • South Africa
    • Botswana
    • Eswatini
    • Lesotho
    • Malawi
    • Mozambique
    • Namibia
    • Zimbabwe.

Please note that the travel restrictions will also apply to anyone transiting through one of these countries. This list is subject to change and additional countries could be added at any time.