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Monday, 25 January, 2021

Updated COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Requirements

Executive Order on COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel

On January 21, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to take action to implement public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on public modes of transportation and at ports of entry to the United States. The outlined measures are consistent with CDC guidelines and include:

·       Immediate action to require mask-wearing at airports and on commercial aircraft

·       Implementation of physical distancing on domestic public modes of transportation

·       Requirements that, to the extent feasible, travelers seeking to enter the U.S. from a foreign country: 

o   produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry 

o   comply with CDC guidelines recommending periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the U.S.

·       Further assessment of air travel requirements outlined in the January 12, 2021, CDC order and consideration of regulatory action such as: 

o   the timing and types of COVID-19 tests that satisfy the negative test requirement

o   consideration of additional testing immediately prior to departure

o   proof of test results that travelers are required to provide

o   measures to prevent fraud

While the Executive Order does not immediately impose new restrictions, the relevant federal agencies are instructed to begin taking steps to implement the President’s policy directives.

Travel Waiver Option Removed from CDC Guidance

NATA has been notified that the Administration confirmed that COVID-19 testing waivers would not be granted for countries with limited testing capacity and that previously submitted testing waivers would not be accepted. The CDC Order will be updated to reflect this change and the FAQs will also be updated with additional guidance.

Travel to US Suspended for Certain Jurisdictions

A January 25, 2021, White House Proclamation outlines further measures to protect public health from travelers entering the United States, such as suspending and limiting the entry of noncitizens who were physically present within 14 days of attempting entry to the United States in the following jurisdictions:

·       Schengen Area

·       United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe)

·       Republic of Ireland

·       Federative Republic of Brazil

·       Republic of South Africa

The Proclamation goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on January 26, 2021, for areas listed outside of the Republic of South Africa and at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on January 30, 2021, for the Republic of South Africa. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on January 26, 2021 from listed jurisdictions outside of the Republic of South Africa, as it also exempts persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed the Republic of South Africa prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on January 30, 2021.

A number of exemptions are outlined in section 2 of the Proclamation.

NATA will continue to work with the FAA and CDC to communicate our industry’s unique operating environment and needs and bring clarity to our members regarding any new requirements.

For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.