The US has exempted non-cruise seafarers from new rules for international air travel, which require travellers be double-vaccinated.
The rules replace the country-specific restrictions and limitations on entry that have previous been in place, and apply for most foreign national air travellers. Starting on 8 November 2021, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travellers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an aeroplane headed to the US.
However, there is a very limited set of exceptions from the vaccination requirement for foreign nationals. This list includes crew who do not work on cruiseships, specifically: 'Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D non-immigrant visa'.
US President Joe Biden signed the order known as the Proclamation on Advancing the Resumption of Global Travel During the Covid-19 Pandemic on 25 October 2021, in response to the continued threat of Covid-19 and its variants, notably the Delta variant.
President Biden said it was 'in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the Covid-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States.'
Seafarers who are US citizens or foreign nationals and are fully vaccinated should travel with proof of their vaccination status to provide to their airline prior to departure to the United States.
Full details about the air travel announcement are available on the CDC and Department of State websites. As well as the Presidential Proclamation, there are three CDC Orders on vaccination, testing, and contact tracing; as well as technical instructions to provide implementation details to the airlines and their passengers, including the requirement to wear masks.
- Nautilus members can find a document supplied by the US Department of Transportation, which explains the new responsibilities and requirements for seafarers when travelling to the United States, here.