US President Joe Biden on Monday signed an order imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign air travelers and lifting tough travel restrictions on China, India and much of Europe as of November 8, announced the White House.
The extraordinary travel restrictions in the United States were first imposed in early 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19. The rules ban most non-US citizens who in the last 14 days have been in the UK, Europe’s 26 Schengen countries without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa. South, Iran and Brazil.
“It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt an air transport policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the recovery in safe international air travel. in the United States, ”says Biden’s proclamation.
The White House has confirmed that children under 18 are exempt from the new vaccine requirements, as are people with medical conditions. Non-tourist travelers from around 50 countries with nationwide vaccination rates of less than 10 percent will also be eligible for an exemption from the rules. Those granted an exemption will generally need to be vaccinated if they intend to stay in the United States for more than 60 days.
The White House first announced on September 20 that it would remove restrictions in early November for fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries.
The Biden administration also detailed the requirements airlines must follow to confirm that foreign travelers have been vaccinated before boarding flights to the United States.
One of the concerns of U.S. officials and airlines is making sure foreign travelers are aware of the new vaccine rules that will come into effect in just two weeks.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday released new contact tracing rules requiring airlines to collect information from international air passengers as needed “to keep track of travelers who have been exposed to variants of COVID-19 or other pathogens ”.
The CDC said this month it would accept any vaccine cleared for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization and accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from travelers.
Foreign air travelers will need to provide vaccination documentation from an “official source” and airlines must confirm that the last dose was at least two weeks before the date of travel.
International air travelers will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of departure. The White House has said unvaccinated Americans and foreign nationals with exemptions will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of departure.
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