Many people have asked questions on this site regarding the rules for layovers, with no definitive answers. The rules are constantly in flux and it is very difficult to get a clear answer from government websites.

I would like to buy a plane ticket for my mother-in-law (has a visa) from Ukraine to the US. Most available flights have at least one layover in Europe. My understanding is that EU countries (minus some special cases and US citizens) are currently banned from travel to the US.

If we buy a ticket with a layover in, say, Switzerland, can there be a problem? Is this allowed under current rules?

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    Flying via Turkey is your best bet. Just need a COVID test and you're good to go. – JonathanReez Apr 13 at 21:09

There is a problem. Foreigners who have been physically present in Mainland China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, Brazil, or South Africa in the previous 14 days are currently banned from entry to the US* (with some exceptions). Switzerland is in the Schengen Area. Transiting there would involve being "physically present" there, and would thus make you inadmissible to the US for 14 days.

  • But people having been in Ukraine would be allowed on a direct flight? Covid numbers seem as bad to me as the Schengen area (and much worse than Mainland China) – lalala Apr 12 at 17:03
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    @lalala Regulations and law are sometimes inconsistent, inaccurate, or wrong. – DavidSupportsMonica Apr 12 at 17:19
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    She might be able to fly from Ukraine to Russia, and from Russia to the US, though, since Russia isn't on that list. – nick012000 Apr 13 at 6:16
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    @nick012000 The fact that the two countries are basically in a state of war with each other over eastern Ukraine might be playing a role here... – Denis Nardin Apr 13 at 8:09
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    I'm a resident of Ukraine, we had Ukrainian friends who were unable to fly through AMS to the US, but were able to fly through Istanbul without an issue. I'd recommend flying through Istanbul (KLM denied boarding at the check in counter at KBP airport) – Aaron Ash Apr 15 at 19:34

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