Thursday, October 28, 2021

Biden Administration to Relax U.S. Travel Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Foreign Visitors

The Biden administration will relax international travel restrictions in November for foreign visitors entering the U.S. who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the White House announced on Monday.

Foreign travelers will have to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the U.S. and provide a negative coronavirus test result taken within three days of the flight, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said on a call with reporters. The passengers will not need to quarantine when they arrive.

While other countries relaxed their restrictions on American travelers, the U.S. kept its travel bans in place, citing concerns over the rapidly spreading delta variant. Monday’s announcement is a major development for the travel industry, which has suffered during the pandemic and put pressure on the Biden administration to relax restrictions.

“International travel is critical to connecting families and friends, to fueling small and large businesses, to promoting the open exchange of ideas and culture,” Zients said. “That’s why with science and public health as our guide, we have developed a new international air travel system that both enhances the safety of Americans here at home and enhances the safety of international air travel.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will determine which COVID-19 vaccines the U.S. will accept, Zients said. Shots from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for use in the U.S., though several other vaccines are in use worldwide.

Zients also announced that the Biden administration will tighten rules for unvaccinated Americans coming back to the U.S. Any unvaccinated Americans returning to the country will need to be tested within a day of their departure as well as after their arrival.

The new rules will go into effect in “early November,” according to Zients.


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