The borders closed due to the coronavirus pandemic have ruined the plans of many of us. How to get to America now is a very difficult question. For those who return home to the United States, there are no barriers, but for guests (non-essential travel), the path is practically closed.
For US residents and citizens, the only problem is to buy tickets (there are much fewer flights from post-Soviet countries), but what should the holders of tourist visas do if they really need to get to the US?
Rubik asked its readers to share their experiences. It turned out that many “acquaintances of acquaintances” – colleagues, friends, relatives – have easily entered the United States since the beginning of June (Alexey from New York, Lada, Nelya, Eleanor, Marina, Aykul from Buffalo and others wrote to us about this) Many, according to them, were interrogated for a long time at the airport, someone was gi“none of your tickets matter,” and that “you may intend to stay here until December”.ven a period of stay only for a month, but they were allowed in.
But, unfortunately, there are also opposite cases.
For example, Taras, a Russian citizen with a tour to the United States, has been to America many times for work (he came with reports to conferences in California, New York, Ohio, Texas), and visited relatives. On a work visa, I was in Canada for the last six months, worked at the University of Toronto, and their program just ended. In March he flew to a conference in the United States, returned to Canada. In April, he tried to come to America by car – he was deployed at the border due to the coronavirus.
The other day, Taras again tried to fly to the United States – they deployed it again, but this time because the officer felt that he would not be able to leave the country on time due to the fact that flights to Russia were canceled. In general, he now has two marks “not allowed in” – on a bare spot. He does not formally fit the parameters of evacuation by ambassadorial flights, since he arrived in Canada before January 15, and registration for evacuation flights has already been completed. There are no direct flights from Canada to Russia yet. The man found himself in a hopeless position.
At customs when entering the United States, the attitude of the officers, he said, was clearly hostile. The first thing the customs officer said: “If you lie to me now, we won’t let you in at all.” Then he added that the flights were canceled and “Your tickets are not important” and “You may plan to stay here until December”.
From which countries you cannot enter the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has up-to-date information for travelers to/from the United States. Restrictions apply to tourists from China, Iran, Schengen countries, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and others.
Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are not included in this list.
As for Canada, on March 21, 2020, the US, Mexico, and Canada temporarily banned “nonessential” travel across their common borders. On May 20, all parties agreed to extend the restrictions for another 30 days until June 22, 2020. And it is possible that this period will be extended again. You can find out more about who and what is not affected by this ban on this official website.
Post-entry restrictions may also apply to those entering the United States, depending on the country from which you arrived.
How best to get to the USA
Our reader Oksana, an aviation manager, advises everyone to fly direct flights – from Minsk, Kyiv, Moscow. Because during a transplant, additional problems may arise with the quarantine rules of the country through which you are flying. Marina from Kyiv told us that at the beginning of March she bought a ticket for her mother for June 24 via Amsterdam. “Marina wrote: “They called the Dutch Embassy and approved it.” – The office of the KLM airline, which flies to the USA, is also good. But we can’t get through to the US embassy. What to do? Isn’t it deployed?
Are there tickets and how much do they cost
In theory, there is. From Moscow to New York, from the first days of July, tickets for connecting flights (there are no direct ones) have been sold at almost last year’s prices – from 24 thousand rubles. At the end of June, it was twice as expensive, and besides, our attempts to “buy” a ticket for the coming dates were unsuccessful, the system replied that everything was already sold out.
From Kyiv and Minsk, the minimum prices are already 5-10 and 10-15 thousand (respectively) more.
Leave the USA for home
On the portal of state services of the Russian Federation there is a special application form for the export of tourists “stuck” abroad, but, as it turned out, there are many criteria that not all meet.
And this path is also not easy.
Irina told us that her husband, in order to take such a flight, “dialed up to the consulate, then to the Ministry of Railways, could not register on the portal of state services, since he did not have a Russian SIM card, where the confirmation code was supposed to come” … As a result, after long ordeals, he managed to get on the flight. There they gathered people in groups by region in order to transport them further from Moscow by airplane and other transport. Upon arrival, Irina’s husband had to travel to the Urals, including by bus, and then spend two weeks on observation.
Aviation manager Oksana advises to fly from the USA on flights to Minsk or Kyiv, and then get to your hometown.
But – but again! In Minsk (despite the fact that there was no quarantine), all those entering from abroad must spend 14 days in self-isolation. The reader of “Rubik” Alesya herself got into such a situation and “has been in self-isolation for the 11th day.” She writes that “you can leave Minsk only on the 15th day. All arrivals (both citizens and guests of the country) are put on self-isolation. Some countries have already been excluded from this list, but not the United States. ”