Biden eases travel restrictions abroad and requires vaccinations
Washington – The White House said Monday that President Joe Biden will ease restrictions on overseas travel to the United States beginning in November and allow foreign nationals to enter the country if they have evidence of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.
The new rules replace a patchwork of restrictions that prevented non-citizens who have been in certain countries in the previous 14 days from entering the United States. Families and others who have been separated by 18-month travel restrictions will be allowed to plan the lengthy period of desired reunion.
White House Coordinator Jeff Zents announced the new policies, which will require all foreign travelers traveling to the United States to show proof of vaccination before boarding a plane, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of the flight. Biden will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated US citizens, who will need to be tested within one day before they return to the United States, as well as after they arrive home.
Zents said that fully vaccinated passengers would not be required to be quarantined.
The new policy will replace the travel ban set by President Donald Trump last year and tightened by Biden earlier this year that restricts travel for non-citizens who have been in the UK, EU and China in the previous 14 days. India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.
This travel ban has become a source of growing geopolitical frustration, particularly among allies in the UK and the European Union where cases of the virus are far lower than in the US, and the easing comes ahead of Biden’s meeting with some European leaders on the sidelines of a UN public meeting. gathering this week.
“This is based on individuals rather than a state-based approach, so it’s a stronger system,” Zenz said.
The European Union and the United Kingdom had previously moved to allow vaccinated American travelers to enter their territories without being quarantined, in an effort to boost commercial and tourist travel. But the European Union last month recommended reimposing some travel restrictions on American travelers to the bloc due to the widespread spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in America.
Zents said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also require airlines to collect contact information from international travelers to facilitate contact tracing.
It was not immediately clear which vaccines would be acceptable under the US system and whether those not approved in the US could be used. Zents said the decision will be up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Zenitz said the new policy will take effect “early November,” to allow time for airlines and travel partners to prepare to implement the new protocols.
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