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.

Distilleries Fined for Making Hand Sanitizer

Distilleries Fined for Making Hand Sanitizer

Would you like to pay a $14,060 fine? Probably now, but a $14,060 fine is being imposed on many distilleries who are creating spirits, not for consumption, but for sanitation purposes. Because of the pandemic, many companies have switched their business model to make products that are more needed during a pandemic. This is partially to stay in business, and partially to do something good for their communities, but also, partially because they had the knowhow. How difficult would it be for a distillery to make hand sanitizer? At least that’s what they thought. Now hundreds, if not thousands of United States based distilleries are being subject to a failure to file certain paperwork with the FDA.

Hand sanitizer is considered to be something that is regulated, therefore they need the proper governmental approval. Many distillery operators didn’t know this and are facing FDA fines. The bad news is that many of those distilleries gave their hand sanitizer away for free as their way to help the community, and now they are being fined for it. To me, punishing them now doesn’t seem fair. I will keep you posted if I see more information on this topic. My takeaway from this is that if you are changing your business model for any reason, make sure that you don’t need any regulatory approval or subject to certain processing applications, or whatever else comes with switching your business model.

#331, January 2021, hand sanitizer, distillery, fine, regulations, business model.