Travel: Airlines Bring Foreign Nationals to the U.S. Again

Lifestyle & TravelTravel ♦ Published: November 9, 2021; 12:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

After more than one and a half years, the US has ended the entry ban for travelers from the European Union on Monday, 8 November. This also allows for Austrians to finally fly to the United States again.

With the end of the entry ban, bookings for US-flights with Austrian Airlines have increased fivefold on some routes. AUA currently serves four airports in the US (New York (Newark and JFK), Washington D.C. and Chicago) with 16 weekly connections. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Austrian Airlines from Austria [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Previously, this required special permission (NIE) from the U.S. government.

The catch-up effect could not be more evident: Flight OS089 from Vienna to New York (Newark) on 8 November was fully booked.

The airlines expect a high backlog of private travelers and business people in the coming weeks. 

Despite the entry ban, groups of people such as US citizens, diplomats and people from various non-EU nations have already been allowed to fly.

U.S. citizens have also been allowed to re-enter the EU since June.

Foreign nationals are now allowed to enter the U.S. if they present valid proof of vaccination and a negative Covid 19 test. The test must be done within three days prior to departure.

Unvaccinated foreign nationals may enter the country only if they meet certain criteria for exceptional cases and agree to undergo Covid 19 testing, quarantine and vaccination upon arrival.

In addition, travelers must provide personal information to remain accessible to authorities.

To enter the USA, the following requirements apply:

  • Entering the country is only possible for fully vaccinated travelers.
  • It is also required to additionally present a negative PCR test before departure, which must not be older than 72 hours.
  • Also travelers who recently recovered from Covid-19 may only enter the US if they are fully vaccinated.
  • Only a few groups of people (children and adolescents under the age of 18, government employees, diplomats, and people with relevant certificates) are exempt from the vaccination requirement. These groups must present a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 24 hours.

To avoid waiting times at the airport, travelers are advised to upload all corona-related travel documents on the airline's website, e.g. on, to have them checked prior to departure. The voluntary digital document upload can be done up to 12 hours before departure. The result of the check will be sent by e-mail no later than four hours before departure.

Please be advised to observe the usual requirements for entering the US, such as a valid ESTA status for tourist travel.

AUA Austrian Airlines