Biden Administration to Ease COVID Travel Restrictions for More than 30 Countries
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients has announced that starting in November, foreign nationals will once again be permitted to fly to the U.S. Travellers from previously banned international countries will be permitted to enter the U.S. providing they hold proof of vaccination*. This announcement is part of the Biden administration’s drafting of the comprehensive “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan.
No precise start date for the lifting of restrictions was given beyond “early November” with many details of the new policy still to be decided.
The most significant information that has been released includes:
- The Administration will be working with airlines in the coming weeks to determine how the new procedures will be implemented.
- Even if fully vaccinated, travellers will have to provide a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of their flight.
- Vaccination requirements for children have not been determined yet.
- Does not apply to ground travel from Canada or Mexico.
- Unvaccinated American citizens and Permanent Residents will still be permitted to return to the U.S. but will have to show a negative COVID test within 24 hours of their flight and will most likely have to get an additional test once in the U.S.
- It is expected that National Interest Exemptions will no longer be required for travel from the United Kingdom, European Union, China, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil or South Africa.
- Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine upon arrival to the U.S.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require airlines to collect data upon check-in to assist with contact tracing if necessary.
- Vaccinations that have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted.
About The Author
Melissa Vincenty is a US attorney, an Australian migration agent and the founder and managing director of Worldwide Migration Partners. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in migration law, including practising at the world’s largest US immigration firm and more than 15 years as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA.