USCIS Announces New Mask Rule For Vaccinated & Unvaccinated Visitors

Posted on September 07, 2021
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According to the latest visitor policy update, all visitors to USCIS offices or Appointment Service Centers (ASC) who have completed two weeks after having received both doses of the two-dose series of vaccine (or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) need not wear a face covering. However, those who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a face covering or mask. This includes everyone two years old and older.

Please note: If you are taking medicines that might have weakened your immune system, being fully vaccinated might still not protect you from Covid-19. Only your doctor can determine your physical well-being. Please consult a certified healthcare physician before resuming normal activities you did prior to the pandemic.

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Vaccinated Visitors

USCIS notes that individuals who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be able to visit a USCIS field office within 10 days of returning from international or domestic air travel and cruise ship travel.  

Other changes to Covid-19 restrictions include – 

If fully vaccinated and not showing any COVID-19 symptoms, people can resume their activities as before the pandemic struck;

Those who have returned from domestic air, international air or cruise ship travel in the past 10 days may enter USCIS facilities, also if they are fully vaccinated;

Individuals who have been in close contact (within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with anyone known to have COVID-19 in the previous 14 days may also enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. 

Reporting exception for Healthcare workers:  Healthcare workers who consistently wear an N95 respirator and proper personal protective equipment or equivalent when in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals continue to be exempt from reporting close contact.

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Policy Terms Defined

  • Face covering – Cloth mask or N95 masks that completely covers the nose and mouth regions of the face and is a tight fit across; 
  • U.S. Federal buildings including USCIS, U.S. airports and any DHS-controlled spaces prohibit the use of neck gators or bandanas used as masks
  • Fully vaccinated – after two weeks of having received all required vaccine doses
  • Close contact – within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • Two-dose series of vaccine – Pfizer -BioNTech or Moderna or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines
  • Single done vaccine – Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
  • Symptoms of Covid-19: Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, Loss of taste or smell, upset stomach including Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea, etc.

New CDC Guidelines For Travelers To The U.S.

According to the latest CDC guidelines, you can resume all activities that you did prior to the pandemic, if you are fully vaccinated. This includes not having to maintain 6 feet distance.

All DHS-controlled buildings including airports continue to maintain 6-feet distance among its occupants and visitors.

Domestic Travel Rules For Those Fully Vaccinated

  • Domestic travel in the U.S. does not require Covid testing before or after travel
  • No need to require self-quarantine after travel within the U.S

International Travel Rules For Those Fully Vaccinated

  • The U.S. FAA does not require getting tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it

Related Article: Travel Ban For Travelers Coming In from India, Who Is Exempted

  • Before entering the U.S. from a foreign travel: Mandatory negative test result or documentation of recovery (in the past 3 months) from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the U.S.
  • Testing 3-5 days after international travel
  • Depending upon the results of the test, self-quarantine after arriving in the United States
  • Unless symptoms are visible and present, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested if you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19

As CDC continues to update information for both vaccinate as well as unvaccinated people, everyone is advised to receive the authorized and available vaccine for eligible parties 12 years and above. Follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses, wear a mask on any transportation and get tested if you have symptoms of Covid-19 .

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