Foreign nationals must be vaccinated, have proof of negative test to come to U.S.
Travel by foreign nationals into the U.S. is set to resume just in time for the holidays. The White House announced on Monday it is lifting a ban on international travel — for those who are vaccinated.
The ban on nonessential international travel to the U.S. has been in place since early 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It began in China and later expanded to visitors from the United Kingdom, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, India, the Republic of Ireland, and the European Schengen region.
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said the ban will be lifted for all vaccinated foreign nationals starting in early November.
“This vaccination requirement deploys the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” said Zients. “Vaccines continue to show that they’re highly effective, including against the delta variant, and the new system allows us to implement strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
International travelers must be fully vaccinated and have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding U.S.-bound flights. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release a list of acceptable vaccines before the ban is lifted, according to Zients.
Masking and contacting tracing will also be required, with airlines ordered to take down the information of U.S.-bound travelers such as email addresses and phone numbers.
“This will enable CDC and state and local public health officials to follow up with inbound travelers and those around them as someone has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 or other pathogens,” Zients said. “(It) will also strengthen our public health surveillance system against any future public health threats.”
The new policy will also tighten restrictions for unvaccinated travelers within the U.S, who will need to test negative for COVID-19 one day before departures as well as upon arrival. Vaccinated Americans must still follow CDC guidelines put in place in January that require a negative test no more than three days before flying back into the U.S.