The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that certain travelers from Russia and Belarus are exempt from the pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement. Key Points:

  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals who have a valid U.S. immigrant visa are no longer required to have proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test or previous recovery from COVID-19 to enter the U.S., provided they were physically present in Russia or Belarus as of Feb. 28.
  • The CDC has waived the COVID-19 testing requirement for such individuals through April 1.

Additional Information: On Feb. 28, the U.S. State Department suspended services in Belarus, authorized the voluntary departure of nonemergency employees and family members in Russia and urged U.S. citizens to leave these countries immediately due to the invasion of Ukraine. More information regarding these changes is available here. BAL Analysis: The CDC has exempted U.S. citizens, permanent residents and immigrant visa holders form the pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement so that they can quickly and safely leave Russia or Belarus. These individuals are reminded that they must follow other applicable COVID-19 guidelines. All travelers from these countries who do not meet the above requirements and are not otherwise eligible for an exception to the COVID-19 testing requirement must present a negative COVID test prior to boarding a flight to the U.S. This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact Copyright © 2022 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact