This Monday, the Biden administration has announced more details on its requirements for foreign travelers wanting to return to the US.
Travelers above 18 years of age should be fully protected against COVID 19. They should also be tested negative for the virus before boarding a US-bound flight.
The White House Releases Details On Vaccination Require For Travel
Those below 18 years of age don’t require full vaccination. But they too should test negative for COVID 19 before boarding onto the flight. Infants below 3 years of age are exempt from the requirement.
The policy comes into effect from November 8th. Following groups of people are exempt from the requirement of receiving shots against COVID 19:
- Those who have participated in clinical trials of COVID 19 vaccination
- Those with severe allergic reactions to vaccines
- Those from countries with limited access to COVID 19 vaccines; 50 countries are included in this list.
Travelers from these countries require a Government authorization letter to come to the US. It should certify that the travel is not for tourism, but for other unavoidable reasons.
Airlines will have to gather contact details from each passenger on their US-bound flights. This remains the same both for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. It is done with a view to assisting contact tracing if required.
Anyone inoculated with the vaccines approved either by the FDA or the World Health Organization will be allowed into the country. These include the following:
- The Moderna vaccine
- Shots of Pfizer
- Those of Johnson & Johnson
- The one from AstraZeneca
- Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines
America will also allow the mixing and matching of vaccines.
The announcement comes in the wake of the Biden administration’s decision to ease the restrictions it had imposed on non-essential travel from several countries. They included the countries like China, Iran, India, Brazil, and a major part of Europe.
The US will check travelers from abroad for compliance with its requirements. And airlines that refuse to comply with the requirements will have to pay a fine of $35000 for every single violation.
The prominent trade body in the travel industry hailed the decision. The country’s airlines say that they are seeing an uptake in the sale of tickets for travel abroad from the last seven days. And they are eager to bring together families and friends who were forced to remain apart because of the pandemic. The ban was in place for more than two years.
Passengers are required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth in US-bound flights and in all other means of public transportation traveling to the US, within the country, and those going out from the country. CDC advises those not fully vaccinated to wear a mask while traveling in the country. They should also practice social distancing.
And for those traveling abroad from the US, CDC has this advice to offer:
Avoid non-essential travels to the 78 countries listed in the agency’s official portal irrespective of your vaccination status. Some among them include:
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
CDC also recommends that unvaccinated and those prone to severe COVID 19 infections should avoid non-essential travel to the following 20 countries:
- Congo, Republic of the
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Madeira Islands
Vaccination for children may be authorized in the near future. And the requirements may change accordingly.
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