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New COVID Travel Restrictions: Here’s What You Need to Know

by Cassie Sclafani, on November 29, 2021

Update 12/13:

After closing their borders on November 25 due to Omicron variant concerns, Israel is set to reopen to all visitors - including Americans - on December 22.

All travelers will need to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of arriving in Israel. Quarantines are also required and the length will depend on where you're arriving from.

Update 12/3:

Starting on Monday next week (12/6), all international travelers arriving in the U.S. will need to take a COVID test within 24 hours of departure. The mask mandate was also extended - masks will also continue to be required on all public transportation (this means any flight that you take) until March 18th.

You know the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same”? Well that sure does feel fitting as business travel is once again dealing with new global travel restrictions in response to the emergence of a new “concerning” COVID-19 variant, Omicron. 

Starting today, the U.S. has imposed a travel ban on visitors from South Africa and seven other African countries. Countries like Israel, Japan, and Morocco have closed their borders to non-citizen visitors and a handful of European countries are also imposing new restrictions.

But don’t worry, there’s no need to panic. There’s still a lot we don’t know and as always, our team will keep you up-to-date on any travel restrictions you need to know about in the AmTrav COVID Resource Center. For now, here’s what you need to know about the new restrictions.

The Newest U.S. Travel Ban 

Starting on November 29, travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi are banned from entering the U.S.

These travel restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, but they will need to show proof of a negative COVID test before arrival.

Israel & Morocco Closing Their Borders

Israel has temporarily closed its borders completely. Travelers are not allowed to enter the country for any reason until at least December 13. 

Morocco followed suit and announced that they are completely closing their borders to all non-citizens. They have also temporarily halted flights into Casablanca and other airports. 

New Restrictions in the UK & Netherlands

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, November 30), all travelers arriving into the UK must quarantine and take a PCR test next day. Once they receive a negative test result, their quarantine will be over. 

The Dutch government is urging people to stay home as much as possible. New restrictions in the Netherlands essentially set a curfew from 5pm to 5am and mandate that all non-essential stores and businesses close every day during this time frame for a period of three weeks.

It's also worth noting that Japan has banned all arrivals of foreign travelers for now, but Japan-based foreigners with residence permits will still be allowed to enter. 

As the world prepares for a potential new wave of COVID (and again, don’t panic - this is still a developing story and there’s a lot we don’t know, so this is all happening in an abundance of caution), our team is ready to help you however we can. If you have any questions or concerns about existing travel that might be impacted by these new restrictions, feel free to reach out.

Topics:Business TravelCOVID-19Covid TravelTravel RestrictionsOmicron VariantGlobal Travel Restrictions

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