The United States has decided to allow certain travellers from the 26 Schengen Area countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom to enter its territory, after they all were banned from entering back in March, amid the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

The Department of State has announced that business travellers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may now qualify to enter the US under the National Interest Exceptions, which allows travel for these categories asserting it will assist with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and bolster key components of our transatlantic relationship.

Certain business travellers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may qualify for National Interest Exceptions under Presidential Proclamations (PPs) 9993 (Schengen Area) and 9996 (United Kingdom and Ireland). Qualified business and student travellers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States even as PPs 9993 and 9996 remain in effect,” the authorities explain referring to the existing travel bans to the US for the citizens of these countries.

The authorities also explain that students travelling from these countries holding valid F1 and M1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel, while those travelling on a J-1 should contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.

All travellers must fly into one of 15 airports specifically designated for international arrivals, which are:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Florida
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Texas
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

Those travelling to the US must be aware that they might be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival and that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry.

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