H1N1 Vaccination Not Required to Enter U.S., CBP Clarifies25 Dec 2009
Earlier this month, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) responded to a rumor that travelers seeking to enter the United States would be required to present proof that they had been vaccinated against the H1N1 or “swine” flu. (See http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/advisories/h1n1_vaccine_rumor.xml.) A statement on the CBP WebSite confirms that no such vaccination requirement exists, and encourages travelers to consult the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services flu website, flu.gov, for the latest information on H1N1 and seasonal flu prevention, and the “Know Before You Go” section under the Travel tab of the CBP website, for helpful traveler tips (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/).
Lest there be any confusion about this, another statement on the CBP WebSite indicated that the agency is carefully “monitoring all information and guidance concerning the outbreak of H1N1 flu,” and that “[a]t this time all U.S. ports of entry are open and operating as normal with officers using risk based border screening.” (See: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/advisories/flu/.) The statement further assures the public that CBP agents are following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the health of incoming travelers.
Rumors have a way of taking on a life of their own, and with the peak travel season upon us, the CBP was wise to explicitly address these H1N1 concerns to reassure the traveling public and prevent confusion and unnecessary delays.