The United States will ease travel restrictions for travelers who have been properly vaccinated.
Beginning in November, the US will no longer bar foreign visitors from entering the country if they are fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to the White House, which announced a series of policy changes aimed at easing the international travel bans imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
People who are not citizens of the United States and plan to travel to the United States will be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative test result obtained within three days of departure when boarding a U.S.-bound flight, according to Jeff Zients, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator.
According to Zients, fully vaccinated foreign visitors entering the United States would no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. The new regulations will go into effect in early November, giving government agencies and airlines “time to prepare.”
Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be “subject to tougher testing procedures,” according to the coordinator, including a test within one day of departure and evidence that they have purchased a test to take after arriving in the US.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will decide which vaccinations classify a traveler as “completely vaccinated,” according to Zients. According to reports in the United States media, children who are not yet eligible for vaccinations are exempt from the vaccine requirements.
Meanwhile, according to Zients, the CDC will implement more rigorous contact tracing procedures in the coming weeks, including information on phone numbers and email addresses of foreign visitors headed for the United States.
Existing regulations regulating land border crossings with Canada and Mexico, according to Zients, remained unaltered.
The decision on Monday would put an end to a patchwork of travel restrictions imposed by the previous Trump administration since the outbreak of the epidemic on 33 nations across the world.
It will also allow individuals who have been separated from their loved ones in the United States to finally reconnect with them.
The new rules were hailed by the travel industry in the United States, which had been lobbying the federal government to make the changes, in addition to easing a major source of tension between the United States and Europe (which complained about the US hesitancy in removing the measures despite an increase in vaccination rates).
“US airlines have been strong advocates for a stringent, consistent policy and are eager to safely reunite the countless families, friends, and colleagues who have not seen each other in nearly two years, if not longer,” said Nicholas Calio, president of Airlines for America, a lobbying group for the country’s largest airlines.