United States relaxes travel restrictions for vaccinated international tourists

The United States on Monday announced a new international air transport system, opening travel to all foreign nationals vaccinated in early November, including those currently impacted by the travel ban to the United States.

“This vaccination requirement deploys the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

Travelers should show proof of full vaccination before boarding planes bound for the United States. A COVID-19 test will also continue to be required within three days of departure and proof of negative results must be presented. Improved contact search and masking will also be required, but there will be no quarantine warrant.

The US ban on non-essential travel was in place since early 2020, starting with China and extending to visitors from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the 29 regions of the European Schengen area, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and from India.

â–ºWhich EU countries are open to American tourists: A breakdown of EU travel restrictions by country

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Ambassador of the European Union to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis alludes to the decision on Twitter earlier Monday, before share news: “Travel ban lifted! Europeans vaccinated and tested before the flight will be able to travel to the United States again from November, just as vaccinated Americans are now allowed to travel to the EU.”

The United States was among the slowest countries to raise his travel restrictions. As Canada reopened its land borders to American travelers in early August, the United States announced later this month that its land borders would remain closed to tourists. And even as European countries relaxation of travel restrictions on American travelers at the start of the summer, the ban on travel to the United States remained.

In mid-July, as the country came under increasing pressure from European capitals and travel industry executives to lift the travel ban, President Joe Biden said his response team was reviewing travel restrictions and suggested changes would be announced in the coming days. White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted later in the month that there was “Current working groups” focused on how to reopen international travel to the United States

But as COVID-19 cases started to rise again, the administration pivoted and announced that travel restrictions would remain in place.

“Given where we are today… with the delta variant, we will maintain the existing travel restrictions at this point for several reasons, “Psaki said at a press briefing. end of July.

The United States has already reported more Deaths from COVID-19 in September that during the entire month of August, with deaths averaging nearly 2,000 per day, according to USA TODAY’s analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

In recent months, countries subject to the travel ban to the United States – including Italy, France, Spain and Sweden – have stricter entry conditions for travelers from the United States due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. Quarantine warrants, vaccine requirements and outright bans are some of the restrictions that US international travelers now face.

â–º Bans on international travel:How COVID-19 travel restrictions impacted families and couples

Critics and health experts also questioned the effectiveness of travel bans, especially after the United States experienced its fourth wave of COVID-19 with the warrants in place.

“With high vaccination rates on both sides of the Atlantic, it is possible to begin to safely welcome vaccinated visitors to these critical inbound markets,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and of the policies of the US Travel Association. said in a July statement urging the Biden administration to reopen international travel to vaccinated tourists.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

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