The White House announced last week that it does not have immediate plans to lift regional COVID-19 travel restrictions in the near future due to the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Key Points:

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated during a July 26 press briefing that “Given where we are today… with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons.”
  • Reuters reported yesterday that the White House is developing a phased reopening plan that requires nearly all foreign national visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S., as part of eventually lifting travel bans.
    • The Biden administration has not made any official announcements or released any timeline regarding this reopening plan or a vaccination requirement.
  • The U.S. continues to restrict the entry of foreign nationals who have been physically present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the U.K. or the Schengen Area within 14 days before intended arrival.
  • The U.S. continues to require a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of departure for all international air travelers. Additionally, the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders remains closed for non-essential travel purposes until at least Aug. 21.

BAL Analysis: Travelers are reminded that U.S. travel restrictions remain in place at this time. BAL continues to closely monitor developments. Individuals with immediate travel needs should consult their BAL professional on best available travel options. Applicants should continue to expect delays in processing, as consulates are still operating at reduced capacity. To learn more about consular delays, travel bans and the October Visa Bulletin, click here to register for BAL’s client-only webinar on Aug. 12.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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