United States to Lift Restrictions on Foreign Travelers Vaccinated Starting Nov 8

United States to Lift Restrictions on Foreign Travelers Vaccinated Starting Nov 8

The United States will reopen its borders to foreign visitors fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from November 8, a White House official said, ending an 18-month ban on most travel to the country.
The new U.S. travel policy requires people to be fully vaccinated to enter the country via international flights and land border crossings, White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said on Twitter, adding that the policy “is guided by public health, rigorous and coherent ”.

Vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted as sufficient, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Children under 18 will be largely exempted from compulsory vaccination.

Unprecedented travel restrictions to the United States that were put in place in March 2020 near the start of the pandemic have barred millions of visitors from around the world from entering.

The restrictions affected the US tourism industry as well as Canadian and Mexican border communities, and prevented many families and foreign workers from reuniting. The United States has fallen behind many other countries in lifting these restrictions.

The new policy was quickly hailed by EU Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, who called it “important and very welcome news” and said in a Twitter post that more details should follow.

Restrictions on non-U.S. Citizens were first imposed on air travelers from China in January 2020 by then-President Donald Trump, then extended to dozens of other countries, without any clear action to know how and when to lift them.

Unvaccinated visitors will still not be allowed to enter the United States at the land borders with Canada and Mexico. The American allies had strongly pressured the Biden administration to lift the rules.

U.S. international passenger air traffic fell 43% in August and overall passenger air traffic fell 21% from pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. Department of Transportation said on Friday.

The US Travel Association has estimated that the decline in international tours since the start of the pandemic has resulted in a loss of revenue of more than $ 250 billion.

Airlines have seen an increase in international ticket sales in recent weeks, Nick Calio, general manager of the Airlines for America industry trade group, said in a statement.

Calio said that “the complete reopening of international travel is also essential to revive economies around the world, invigorate communities and support millions of jobs in the United States and abroad.”

The White House announced on Tuesday that it would lift restrictions on its land borders and on ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November.

Canada began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. tourists to enter the country on August 9.

The White House announced on September 20 that the United States would lift restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries in early November, but did not specify the exact date when the restrictions would be lifted at that time.

Non-U.S. Air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination and proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight. Foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

The new rules do not require foreign visitors or Americans entering the country to self-quarantine.

Americans traveling abroad must still show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, and unvaccinated Americans will face more stringent testing requirements. They will also be subject to restrictions in the countries they plan to visit, which may include quarantines.

The CDC plans to publish new contact tracing rules for international air travelers soon.


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