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Chicago updates for international travelers

Chicago is proud to welcome thousands of international groups each year. To help our global guests navigate their visit, we’ve got the latest information on Chicago’s COVID safety measures, as well as a look at new passenger experiences at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway international airports.

Chicago COVID safety

In Chicago, masks are required while indoors in public places. Proof of full vaccination is necessary for visitors age 5 years and older for indoor dining and fitness, as well as indoor entertainment venues where food and drinks are served. Your vaccination card, photo/photocopy of vaccination card, or other printout/photo of vaccine records with your name are some acceptable forms of proof. For visitors age 16 and older, a form of identification that matches your vaccination card is also required.

Get more details on health and safety practices at Chicago’s restaurants, attractions, shops, hotels, and public transit.

Airport health precautions

O’Hare International Airport terminals and concessions with new signs during the COVID-19 Pandemic; July 2020.

All international travelers coming into the United States must be fully vaccinated. If traveling by air, all non-U.S. citizens will need proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, U.S. federal requirements mandate that all travelers over the age of two must wear a face covering at airports and on aircraft. When possible, socially distance (6 feet/2 meters), utilize touchless and mobile payments, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

O’Hare and Midway offer the nation’s most comprehensive in-airport COVID-19 testing program. Learn more about airport testing and safety measures.

New at O’Hare International Airport

In November 2021, O’Hare unveiled the new Airport Transit System (ATS). The ATS is a convenient, fast, and reliable automated “people mover” that transports passengers to and from Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 5. It also connects to the newly completed Multi-Modal Facility, a 2.5 million-square-foot transportation hub for rental cars, public parking, regional buses, and Metra rail.

The current $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 project will expand the airport’s capacity and connectivity. It includes the construction of the new O’Hare Global Terminal (OGT), which will combine domestic and international arrivals and departures, and two new satellite concourses. At 2.25 million square feet, the new OGT will more than double the space of today’s Terminal 2, replacing it with an expanded arrivals hall with additional gates; more space for concessions, lounges, and public amenities; and state-of-the-art baggage systems.

Advanced security technologies include CLEAR touchless security screening, which uses biometrics like a passenger’s eyes and face to identify them.

Midway International Airport updates

The Midway Modernization Program is the most significant capital program at Midway in nearly 20 years. With new TSA automated lanes, Midway’s security pavilion has increased the hourly throughput of passengers from 2,500 to 5,000 per hour — doubling previous capacity while maintaining the highest levels of security. Midway also offers CLEAR touchless security screening.

A concessions expansion project calls for 70 new locations at Midway, more than doubling the total concessions area. Many new local restaurants and shops have already been added throughout the terminals and Central Market, including Harry Caray’s Shortstop and Billy Goat Tavern and Grill. Dining has become even more convenient with the launch of contactless mobile ordering. Access the website by scanning a QR code or visiting goeatmdw.com on your mobile device to order, pay, and choose pick-up or delivery to anywhere in the airport.

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