Frequently asked questions about entering the USA
Since 8 November, the United States of America are open again for vaccinated travellers. You can find more information in our frequently asked questions and answers.
Four steps to be better prepared for your trip
Use the digital document check until 8 hours before your flight to upload your proof of vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR or antigen, max. one day old) and the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the US.
Once you have received confirmation that your Covid-19 travel documents have been verified, check in online via our website or app from 23 hours before your flight and select your seat.
Be fully prepared and use your boarding pass to check in your baggage at our bag drop-off machines at many airports and so avoid queues at the check-in desks.
Please check the validity of all relevant entry documents (e.g. ESTA) in advance and carry them with you throughout your trip.
Please comply with the compulsory use of masks before and during the flight, as well as when leaving the aircraft.
Have a good flight.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
We look forward to the USA opening up again to fully vaccinated travellers since 8 November.
According to the new guidelines, travellers who are fully vaccinated with WHO-certified vaccines and have a negative Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) no more than one day old can enter the USA without restrictions.
A person is considered fully vaccinated if he or she has completed the vaccination series with a WHO/FDA-approved vaccine (also in combination) at least two weeks previously. Approved vaccines include: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac.
What happens to unvaccinated passengers? Children, for example, and people who cannot be vaccinated?
The following groups are exempt from the vaccination requirement:
- Children under 18 years
- US citizens
- Diplomatic and official government travellers
- UNO travellers with the appropriate visas
- Passengers vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines from clinical trials
- Persons with a medical contraindication to vaccination
- Exception groups according to CDC (humanitarian and emergency exceptions)
- People from countries of origin with less than 10% vaccine availability
- US military personnel, sea crew members
- Persons with national interest exception (confirmed by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security or Secretary of Transport)
Travellers who belong to one of the aforementioned exemption groups must carry the relevant documents confirming their particular exemption status. In addition, the Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the US must be completed and carried with you.
As a general rule, travellers belonging to this group must also have a negative Covid-19 test (PCR or antigen) that is no more than one day old. Children under two years of age are exempt.
Depending on the exemption group to which you belong, you will also need to confirm that you will have another test done during the 3-5 day period and go into 7-day self-isolation. Children under 18 travelling with their vaccinated parents are exempt.
You can find more information on the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" website.
Certain groups may also be exempt from the testing requirement under certain preconditions. These may include, for example, people who have recovered. Please inform yourself fully if you belong to one of these groups and make sure yourself in advance that you have all the necessary documents with you to be able to travel.
Also persons who have recovered from Covid-19 have to be fully vaccinated to be able to enter the USA. According to the US definition, a person is fully vaccinated if he or she has been vaccinated with a vaccine approved by WHO / FDA and the final dose has been received at least 2 weeks before travelling. A single dose of an approved vaccine (e.g. BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna) together with a recovery certificate is not considered fully vaccinated according to the US regulations.
Recovered passengers need to carry and present the following documents:
- A positive test result (conducted on a specimen collected no more than 90 days before departure; for flights with SWISS or via Switzerland, the test must additionally be at least 10 days old)
- A letter issued by a licensed health care provider or public health official stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel (fit-to-fly)
- Proof of vaccination (according to US definition)
- Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the US
By checking the traveller’s digital or physical vaccination certificate, as is already the case today for many destinations.
Use the free option to have your Covid-19 travel documents checked by our Health Entry Support Centre before the start of your trip. This will help you enjoy a relaxed start to your flight.
- Travel documents (Passport, ESTA/Visa, Permanent Resident Card)
- Vaccination certificate (digital or physical copy)
- A negative Covid-19 test no more than one day old in order to be able to enter without restrictions
- Combined Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the US (for flights from 8 November onwards)
Please ensure that your ESTA is still valid, as in certain cases ESTAs that are apparently still valid may have lost their validity.
PCR and antigen tests can be carried out at CENTOGENE at the airports in Frankfurt and Munich. The costs vary depending on how quickly the test result is required. The result of an antigen test is usually available in 30 minutes. There are PCR Express Test facilities both in Frankfurt and Munich (Frankfurt Airport: 35 minutes, Munich Airport: 60 minutes).
Yes, on flights to and from the USA, all passengers, including children over the age of two, are required to wear face masks.
With the extensive Lufthansa Group route network and numerous flight connections via Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels, travellers can reach 17 destinations in the USA with around 200 weekly connections.
The rules for international transfers via the USA have not yet been announced.
Can travellers use Lufthansa Group flights to transfer from other European cities to the USA via Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich or Vienna?
Yes, travellers can transfer via the airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna providing the requirements for both the transfer and the destination country are met.
Can vaccinated travellers from non-Schengen countries enter the USA via Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Belgium?
Yes, travellers can enter the USA via Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Belgium providing the requirements for both the transfer and the destination country are met.
Where possible, use our self-service baggage drop-off facilities for checking in your baggage.
Please allow extra time at immigration in the USA due to staff shortages.
You will find the relevant information for your trip in the United Travel-Ready Center.
This might also be of interest to you
Travelling and Covid-19
At Lufthansa, your safety is our top priority. That is why you will find the most important information about planning your journey here.
Entry regulations for your destination
Check the entry requirements at your destination, or find out about the requirements for Covid-19 tests.
Digital document check
On selected routes you can have your Covid-19 travel documents checked in advance.