U.S. travel permitted for vaccinated foreigners from November 8

Vaccinated air passengers will need to be tested within three days before travel.

October 15, 2021 08:10 pm | Updated November 05, 2021 06:47 pm IST - Washington

A view of the terminal 1 section at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

A view of the terminal 1 section at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The Biden administration is expected to announce that its new travel policy requiring foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated will be operational November 8 onwards. The new policy will replace disparate rules that have applied so far to different countries of origin and will provide consistent guidelines based on vaccination status. Specifically, it will ease pandemic-related  restrictions for travel from India , the U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Brazil and the Schengen Zone.

The imminent announcement , which was first reported by Reuters , will apply to air travel as well as travel for non-essential purposes via land borders shared with Mexico and Canada. By January, those using land borders for “essential” travel will need to fall in line with vaccine requirements, as per the White House’s forthcoming announcement.

“This puts in place a global international travel policy that is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent,” a statement from the White House , sent to The Hindu said.

In addition to providing proof of vaccination status from November 8, travellers will need to continue to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure from their point of origin.

So far exemptions have not been announced but a few are expected.

The announcement will follow vaccine recognition guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), i.e., vaccines will need to be approved or authorised by the FDA (the U.S. pharma regulator) or have Emergency Use Listing status from the WHO.

“Further guidance on the very limited exceptions to these vaccination requirements, what will be acceptable proof of vaccination, and other operational details are forthcoming,” the White House said.

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