President Biden Issues Executive Orders Regarding International Travel to the United States

Beginning January 26, 2021 and per the CDC’s January 12, 2021 Order, all travelers to the United States must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry.  On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Transportation and Homeland Security assess the CDC’s January 12, 2021 Order within fourteen (14) days.  This includes assessing the timing and types of testing, the proof of testing travelers should be required to provide, the feasibility of implementing alternative and sufficiently protective public health measures (e.g. self-quarantining), and measures to prevent fraud.

Then, on January 25, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order maintaining COVID-19 travel restrictions for foreign travelers coming from the Schengen Area (26 European countries), the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil, following reports of more contagious variants of COVID-19 in those countries.  President Biden also added South Africa, noting the emergence of a new and more contagious variant of COVID-19. This is a reversal of former President Trump’s January 18, 2021 executive order, which would have lifted those restrictions on January 26, 2021.


  1. National Interest Exceptions for Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland - Raslan Pla and Company - February 12, 2021

    […] academics, students, and journalists may qualify for a national interest exception (NIE) to the executive order restricting travel from those countries. Those who may qualify should contact the nearest U.S. […]

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