The White House announced that it will remove certain restrictions related to the entry of international travelers who are vaccinated against Covid-19, beginning in November. This removal of restrictions includes travelers from the United Kingdom and the European Union.
In order to enter the United States, travelers must be vaccinated and show a negative Covid-19 test obtained no more than 72 hours prior to travel, according to Jeff Zients, who leads the White House's coronavirus outreach effort. All required documentation must be presented before boarding in the city of origin. Exceptions to the vaccination requirement include minors who are not of age to be vaccinated.
This announcement ends a series of travel restrictions that had originated under the previous administration, in the midst of crucial moments of the pandemic, and which have been in place for 18 months. With the change of administration, President Biden ratified these restrictions in January, shortly after his inauguration. Only U.S. citizens, permanent residents and some specific exemptions, usually related to humanitarian travel or essential workers, are allowed to enter. However, the Biden administration is tightening entry for those mentioned as it is requiring negative proof before travel and another proof after their return.
Part of the plan to lift restrictions will include in the coming weeks, by CDC, a contact tracing order, seeking to have more information on travelers, including email and phone numbers, in order to maintain contact and alert them of possible exposure to the virus. There are still differences between the White House and CDC regarding the definition of "fully vaccinated" considering that there are certain vaccines that are not being used in the United States, as is the case of AstraZeneca, but are widely used in Europe.
Different media mention that the long-awaited lifting of travel restrictions to the United States will begin on November 1; others, a little less specific, refer to the beginning of the same month as the starting point. The great majority, however, talk about the economic benefits for airlines, hotels and other related guilds, together with a boost to the economy, and a decision to reciprocate with the will of European countries that have shown great progress in the management of Covid, due to their vaccination and prevention campaigns. All this together with the possibility that many of the travelers can be reunited with their loved ones after a long time.
*The information provided is based on the White House press conference in regards to the administration’s plans that will become effective once the White House makes it official on November first