The US has, over the course of the Covid19 pandemic, and under two Presidents, applied presidential actions under Order 212(f) to close its borders to non-US nationals from many countries across the world, including Brazil, China, India, European Schengen Zone, South Africa, United Kingdom, amongst other countries. However, as quick as the USA has been in applying in these travel bans, they have been slow to repeal them, until now.
The US to allow fully-vaccinated travellers with effect from November 8, 2021
In September 2021, the USA gave the first signal that they will allow fully vaccinated travellers from around the globe to enter the country in ‘Early November’ 2021. However, they did not announce the date with effect from when the ban will be removed for fully-vaccinated travellers, nor did the US Government say anything then about the vaccines they will accept.
However, today, Reuters revealed that The White House has said it will lift Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals from November 8, 2021, onwards. This newsbreak was further confirmed by the White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz on Twitter.
The US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8. This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent. https://t.co/uaDiVrjtqi
— Kevin Munoz (@KMunoz46) October 15, 2021
As a consequence, non-essential travel to the US will be allowed for everyone from the banned countries under the presidential proclamation, as long as they are fully vaccinated and can present proof of vaccination to the US CBP on arrival.
As for the vaccines approved for entry in the USA, the US will accept all vaccines authorised by the World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drugs Administration, which would mean the following vaccines are included:
- Moderna mRNA-1273
- Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Ad26.COV2.S
- Oxford/AstraZeneca AZD1222
- Serum Institute of India Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation)
- Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)
- Sinovac CoronaVac
Per an update made to the CDC Website, mixed vaccine use will be accepted, as reported by Reuters.
Non-U.S. air travellers will be required to display proof of vaccination before boarding their flight to the USA and will also be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to departure. They will be able to arrive in the US without quarantine.
Some questions are still unknown, as the official text has not been published, such as the age of the children who will be permitted without vaccination into the US.
While the first step will be for the US to implement international travel for vaccinated travellers from the countries where the Presidential ban on travel has been applied, the next step will be for them to apply the vaccination requirement for anyone entering the US, expected to be applicable from January 22, 2022 onwards.
Non-essential travel to the US will soon be possible for vaccinated travellers from various countries which were under a presidential ban on travel to the US for a long while. As of November 8, 2021, the US will accept those travellers who are travelling after vaccination with a WHO-approved vaccine.
What do you think of the US opening up for travel to other countries?
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