The New US International Travel Policy

United States International Travel Policy Beginning November 8, 2021:

Beginning November 8, 2021, international travelers who are neither United States citizens nor United States immigrants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling to the United States from a foreign country, unless they are subject to one of the limited exceptions mentioned below.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19?

You are considered “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 if it has been at least fourteen (14) days since receiving:
A. An accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
B. The second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
C. The second dose of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least seventeen (17) days apart; or
D. The full series of an active COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Your last dose must have been given a full fourteen (14) days before the day you board your flight to the United States. For example, if your last dose was on October 1, 2021, then October 15, 2021, is the first day that you meet the fourteen (14) day requirement.

Which vaccines are “accepted”?

Vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization are accepted.

Vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Single-dose: Janssen / J&J

Two-dose series: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna

Vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization:

Single-dose: Janssen / J&J

Two-dose series: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm, Sinovac

What proof of vaccination is required to travel to the United States?

Three (3) types of documentation will be accepted as proof of vaccination by airlines:

1. Verifiable records (digital or paper). Examples include a vaccination certificate with a QR code and a digital pass via Smartphone application with a QR code. The United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass and the European Union Digital COVID Certificate both qualify as verifiable records.

2. Non-verifiable paper records. Examples include a printout of a COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at a national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider. The United States Center for Disease Control vaccination card qualifies as a non-verifiable paper record.

3. Non-verifiable digital records. Examples include digital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from an official source (such as a public health agency, government agency, or another authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without a QR code.

What information must be present on the proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

Each type of documentation must have the following information to constitute proof of COVID-19 vaccination:
1. Personal identifiers that match the personal identifiers on the traveler’s passport or other travel documents. The minimum personal identifiers required are full name and date of birth.
2. Name of official source issuing the record, such as the public health agency, government agency, or another authorized vaccine provider.
3. Name of vaccine manufacturer and the date(s) of vaccination.

Airlines should be contacted directly if you have questions about whether your documentation is sufficient.

Are there additional requirements?

Yes. In addition to providing proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States, international travelers must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three (3) days before travel.

International travelers will be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States for contact tracing purposes

International travelers will also be required to wear a mask over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation and in United States transportation hubs, including airplanes and airports.

What are the limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement?

There are limited exceptions to this requirement, including for:
– Children under the age of 18;
– Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel;
– Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine;
– Participants in certain COVID-19 trials;
– Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception;
– Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited vaccine availability;
– Members of the U.S. armed forces or their spouses or children (under the age of 18);
– Sea crew members traveling pursuant to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa; and
– Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees).

If you fall within one of the limited exceptions above, additional documentation may be required. Please contact BridgehouseLaw LLP at (980) 219-5200 for more information.

Honorary Consul Press Release

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Mexico Is Suing the US Gun Industry, Claiming That They Are Fueling Gun Violence In Their Country

Who just filed a lawsuit for $10 billion? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And the answer is the Mexican government did. But now the second question is against whom? The United States gun manufacturing industry. This lawsuit was filed a couple of days ago in Massachusetts. And the question remains why? Officials from Mexico claim that Mexico is in need and entitled to compensation for $10 billion because guns from the United States were used for illegal activities. And the American gun manufacturer knew that guns were smuggled over the border to be used for illegal activities. Mexico states as well that the gun manufacturing industry forgot, or did not include mechanisms of security or traceability of the guns. So in other words, the proper way of sale of such guns cannot be really traced. As a result, many guns are just smuggled over the border used for assaults, and more in Mexico. And now we're talking about a $10 billion suit. Whether this case will end up at Supreme court or this case will be settled in the meantime, or just outright dismissed on so many legal grounds we will not know. But my quick takeaway today is that if there is state-of-the-art technology and you as a company is not using it, you may be liable for not using it. So if there is a better traceability method for guns available and this traceability would prevent illegal sales, then I could see an argument for why the gun industry is liable. So for your own businesses, if there is a method where you can make a product safer, state of the art safer, that is, and you fail to do so, this by itself may create liability for you. So the quick advice is not only to stay tuned to my morning musings but stay up to date with the state of the art.

Amazon Faces Legal Action After Hazardous Goods Were Sold On Their Website

Stop, it wasn't me. Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And this defense could be used in the total recall scenario, which now happens on Amazon's site. Amazon is facing a significant lawsuit from the United States consumer protection agencies. They filed a 24-page complaint and listed thousands of products, which they deemed to be unsafe. So in other words, a total recall, but who is the proper person? Is it Amazon? Or is Amazon's no, stop, it was my defense, correct. Amazon never owned those items. They just shipped them or maybe they didn't even ship them. They provide a platform for third parties to sell their goods. Now, the consumer product safety commission, the CPAC in the United States filed a complaint listing that Amazon is forced to accept responsibility for recalling, potentially hazardous products, which are sold on Amazon hit back and Amazon's defense that they removed those items which they were notified as no longer safe, but they do not have serious testing requirements to test all of their products. The question may be more complex, but if they are 24,000 carbon monoxide detectors, children's pajamas, which are not fireproof, hairdryers, which aren't properly insulated and create a short, it is a dangerous world out there. But is Amazon liable? We may like, or we may not like Amazon, you may say, of course, they are liable. But, we need to analyze as lawyers, what is the legal theory under which Amazon is liable? I will analyze this complaint more and share more details as the case develops. But for now, if you are selling goods, which do not belong to you, and you are just a conduit if you're doing business in a similar way like Amazon, but you don't need to be such a big company, it could be that an American subsidiary of a foreign-owned entity is just selling products for their partner in Germany, for example. Are you liable for that? The best way to avoid that is to have a very clear liability language included and also between the parties, make sure that the company who is providing the potentially unsafe product is internally liable. So those two documents may help you. Good luck.

Is TikTok GDPR Compliant?

The DPC has launched two inquiries to investigate if TikTok is GDPR compliant. Watch today's #MorningMusings to find out more! Like our Morning Musings? Consider getting your own Morning Musing book here: Is TikTok GDPR compliant? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. GDPR, the European data protection guideline, and TikTok maybe two different concepts from two different parts of the universe. But, the question remains is TikTok compliant? And the answer is out. The Irish data protection commission, the so-called DPC has commenced a two-check test, a two-check inquiry on TikTok, limited to the Irish company with regard to compliance with the GDPR. The first inquiry will examine the details of which TikTok uses age verification of its users as TikTok has banned users below the age of 13. So how does TikTok weed that out? How does TikTok stores data from the 13 to 18-year-old is a question also first inquiry? The second one is related to the focus on the transfer of personal data to China. China allegedly has the server capacity, and all the personal data is somewhere routed towards China. How is this done or how is done in third countries is a part of the second inquiry. What are the main takeaways? Number one, whether TikTok is in violation of the European data protection laws shall not matter for the answer. Therefore, number two. What can you do as a company? If you're working abroad and you have no European subsidiary, you are still subject to the GDPR. Number three, if you are operating inside the European Union with an EU subsidiary, and you're operating in good faith, all of the GDPR guidelines apply to you. So in a way, whether you are with a subsidiary or whether you are without a subsidiary, you still need to follow these guidelines. So therefore my takeaway is if you want to avoid liability from a GDPR point of view, it does not make sense not to incorporate. So in other words, follow the law is a better strategy than making an avoidance attempt in not incorporating there. GDPR is powerful and after many years in existence, the fines are tremendous. So, therefore, follow GDPR is my key advice.

The US To Lift Travel Ban to Vaccinated Travelers

The U.S. To Lift Travel Ban to Vaccinated Travelers

US to lift travel ban



The Biden Administration has announced plans to lift the travel ban on travelers to the United States. Only vaccinated travelers who submit to contact tracing will be allowed into the Country. The travel bad could be lifted as early as November.

This travel ban has been in place ever since President Trump implemented it in 2020 and was extended by President Biden once he took office. The ban encapsulated those who have been in one of these countries/areas within 14 days of entering the United States:

  • The Schengen area
  • The United Kingdom/Ireland
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Iran

Before and until the travel ban ends, the only way to get into the United States from one of those countries is to either; quarantine in a country not listed above for 14 days or obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE).

The Biden administration has not yet confirmed which vaccines will be accepted. It’s likely to be the vaccines already approved in the United States and Europe, but it’s not clear if vaccinated individuals with Indian, Chinese, or Russian-made vaccines will be allowed in.

Not much information has been disclosed about the process, but once the travel bans are lifted, demand for U.S. visas will likely increase dramatically. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are already short-staffed (as you can read in our article about international students struggling to get U.S. visas) and will get worse.

The Biden Administration states that they are aiming to replace the current travel bans/restrictions with a “safer, stronger and more sustainable” system.

Exactly how they will conduct the contact tracing has not been stated.

Each state has the freedom to implement its own regulations as well. Some states may require proof of a negative COVID test within 3-days of traveling or quarantining, and some may not.

If you are interested in obtaining a U.S. visa or have any other questions regarding immigration, contact our Charlotte office:

Jeff Bezos Going to Space

Jeff Bezos Going to Space

Do you want to go to space? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And if you are Jeff Bezos, then the answer is, yes, you do want to go to space and you're doing it. And this is exactly what Jeff Bezos announced the other day. On July 20th of this year, he will be flying into space. Only 15 days after he resigned or after the day is set where he will resign as the CEO of Amazon.

So while Jeff Bezos is in space, He is certainly excited that his long life goal to be in space is out of a sudden part of reality. We all remember 2016 in Star Trek beyond where he did a cameo in the movie and his passion and his interest in space is one thing. But in reality, it's not just a little kid's dream.

He's been quoted to have said, I believe that if we won't go to space, we will eventually end up in a civilization of stasis, which I find demoralizing. So far, why Jeff Bezos wants to go to space. From a legal question point of view, I wonder if he allows others to join his trip. What would the liability disclaimer look like?

Would you sign on the dotted line? I agree that I will be dead. If the rocket implodes or what other liability waivers there would be inside. It's almost like a feast to see that disclaimer, to be used in different settings. Is it for real? Yes, because Bezos is auctioning off seed and it was bubbling around the two-point something million-dollar range for the 11-minute flight, which brings you 60 minutes out in space.

And after Bezos announced to be on board personally, now the number jumped up to $3.2 million for the 11 minutes. I think it may go much higher, but in the end, I'm really curious to read the liability because if you go into a dangerous environment and you endanger yourself, the company that was running this danger needs to be properly indemnified. Will this be enforceable in court? I hope we will never have to learn that because this flight needs to be successful.

#427, June 2021, Jeff Bezos, space, liability, contract.

EU Going Forward with an Anti-SLAPP Law

EU Going Forward with an Anti-SLAPP Law

What is an anti-slapp? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And before we dig deeper into the question of what an anti-SLAPP is, let's talk about what a slapp is. SLAPP is an acronym, and it stands for strategic lawsuit against public participation. It is in other words, an intimidation lawsuit. If somebody doesn't want somebody else to talk about it, How about filing a lawsuit and having this person silenced because otherwise, the legal costs will be tremendous. 

Especially in countries where there is no loser pay rule. It is very expensive to defend oneself against a pretty useless lawsuit. Many states in the United States have an act as a so-called anti-slapp law, which means that cases filed against somebody with the intent to intimidate somebody will create a different burden of fees and expenses, and therefore it is no longer attractive. 

The European Union, however, is right now deciding to move an anti-slapp law forward. The current situation in Europe is that not a single European state has enacted an anti-slapp law and now the European Union wants to govern all over Europe to protect public policy, watchdogs, journalists, whistleblowers, and whoever it is from a SLAPP. 

It is useful because, under the Lugano convention and other different European rules, it is relatively easy to pick the best place in Europe to file a lawsuit. Forum shopping, how it's called, and then go against somebody who's speaking from a public policy point of view.

The European Union is now pushing this measure forward to protect the freedom of speech all over Europe. Non-member states are of course doing something outside of the European Union, but within the European Union, this may change the freedom of the press, where there is no more fear for any SLAPP litigation.

#428, June 2021, SLAPP, EU, litigation, Lugano Convention.

Why is Theranos Apparel and Memorabilia So Popular Right Now?

Why is Theranos Apparel and Memorabilia So Popular Right Now?

Do you want to buy a Theranos lab coat for $17,000? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And if you're interested, hurry up. eBay and other platforms are selling those originals one in a lifetime opportunities to acquire original Theranos lab coats. Mind you, Theranos was a company that was created by Elizabeth Holmes some years ago, which had a very famous rise and almost impeccable start and then a significant failure.

And Elizabeth Holmes is now facing up to 20 years in prison, based on her wire fraud charges and other related charges. But what is the reason for this hype? Yes, she was the youngest, female billionaire, a self-made entrepreneur who had all that it takes, and that people who admire her for girl boss and hashtag girl boss are rather famous these days.

They are mugs being sold, which carries the label Theranos early investor, which is one of Etsy shops, high selling items. Why would you buy a mug of a company which is defunct by somebody who created a company who may end up in jail? It is almost like this morbid fascination of success and failure, which seems to be too human for us.

But the underlying question is, are they even allowed to do that? Well, assuming that there is a Theranos entity still in existence who may have the trademarks still under their control, they may be able to claim any and all trademark infringements back from somebody, but then it boils down to do they have some money and see appetite to enforce it?

I seriously doubt that this will happen. So in the meantime, if you want to buy some original, authentic mugs, some original authentic lab coats. Now it's your time. Maybe the price will go up after the indictment ends in a judgment. In the meantime, if you are an early investor, let me know what kind of early investor you are. And do you have a mug proudly saying early investor?

#429, June 2021, Theranos, early investor, trademark, apparel, logo.

The NFL is Looking for a Host City in Germany

The NFL is Looking for a Host City in Germany

What do you think about football in Germany? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And the question is, are we talking soccer or football? No, we are not talking about soccer even though it would be prudent to talk about European soccer in light of the ongoing European soccer championship. It is about American football.

The NFL, the American football league, is looking to find a partner city in Germany to host regular-season games in Germany. To the enjoyment of the millions of German fans. There's not only television, and the weekly television viewership has grown by over 20% in the last three years, but they're trying to identify which city would be a perfect host city.

The NFL is at this time conducting games outside of the United States in Mexico and Canada. And let's, don't forget about the special London event they had scheduled. I'm curious which city they will pick. I'm also curious how much business will be around that. Will American companies who operate in Germany act as hosts? Will German companies who are engaged in international business and trade, especially with the United States, become a sponsor here? From a sponsorship, from a marketing opportunity, I see great ideas when ideas flow from one continent to the other. 

Let's wait to see which German city the NFL will pick. Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt. I can see lots of great cities of interest. The NFL may be interested to match it up with some of the local NFL fan clubs or fan teams. And the Berlin thunders, Cologne Centurions, Frankfurt galaxy, the Hambrook sea devils are just a few of them, which may be a reason for them to go to one of those cities. The local fan base is at the end what matters because the stadium needs to be full.

#430, June 2021, NFL, German, television football, sponsorship.