The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended an exemption than allows some travelers from Russia and Belarus to enter the U.S. without completing a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

Key Points:

  • The CDC extended the exemption through May 1, 2021. It was previously set to expire April 1.
  • Under the exemption, U.S. citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals who hold a valid U.S. immigrant visa are not 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 State Department has advised Americans in Russia or Belarus to leave immediately.

Additional Information: The CDC has extended the exemption so that individuals can quickly and safely leave Russia and Belarus. Travelers who do not meet the requirements for this exemption or another exemption to the COVID-19 testing requirement must present a negative COVID test prior to boarding a flight to the U.S. More information is available here.

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

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