Travel Bans for Vaccinated Passengers Will Be Lifted in the United States.
The US said on Monday that all flying travelers will be exempt from the Covid travel restriction in November if they are properly vaccinated and submit to testing and contact tracing.
As the virus spreads, the extreme restrictions have kept relatives, friends, and business associates isolated for months.
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, told reporters that the new “uniform strategy” would go into place “early November.”
The relaxation of travel restrictions, which were imposed by Donald Trump 18 months ago when the Covid-19 outbreak first broke out, is a dramatic reversal by Biden and responds to a major demand from European partners at a time when diplomatic relations are tense.
Many protections will remain in place to prevent the virus from spreading, which has already killed over 670,000 Americans and has resurfaced after what many thought was a long-term decline earlier this year.
“Most critically, foreign nationals traveling to the United States will need to be completely vaccinated,” Zients added.
It wasn’t clear whether the new rule just applied to vaccinations approved in the United States or if other brands, such as those made in China or Russia, would also be eligible. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Zients, will decide.
Vehicle movement restrictions from Canada and Mexico will remain in effect. “On the land border regulations, we don’t have any updates,” Zients stated.
Passengers will be required to produce proof of full vaccination before boarding planes to the United States, as well as proof of a negative Covid-19 test done within three days, according to Zients.
Americans who have not been completely vaccinated will be allowed to enter, but only if they test negative within a day of departure.
On US-bound flights, masks will be required, and carriers will send contact tracing information to US health officials.
“This new international travel system is based on research to keep Americans safe when flying internationally,” Zients stated.
The easing of the near-total prohibition was swiftly welcomed by the United Kingdom and Germany. It was hailed as “excellent news” by Germany’s ambassador to the United States.
Ambassador Emily Haber tweeted, “It’s critical to foster people-to-people interactions and transatlantic business.”
Airlines, which have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic closure, have applauded the announcement.
Airlines For Europe, a trade group, projected “a much-needed boost to trans-Atlantic traffic and tourism, as well as the reunification of family and friends.”
“We welcome the Biden administration’s science-based strategy to begin eliminating the restrictions,” said Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines.
While it was widely thought that Biden would be elected, Brief News from Washington Newsday.