The Biden administration has outlined the entry requirements for foreign travellers visiting the US as the country reopens on November 8.
US President Joe Biden signed a proclamation on Monday imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign air travellers. The new rules replace the 212f restrictions that began at the outset of the pandemic and banned travellers from countries including the UK, Ireland, all Schengen countries, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China.
From early next month, travellers must provide proof of double vaccination, as well as a negative Covid-19 test result taken within three days of departure. Both PCR and antigen tests can be used for entry.
Biden’s proclamation states:
“It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States.”
Airlines will be required to check travellers’ vaccination status before they can board flights to the US, confirm that the proof of vaccination comes from an “official source” and that it was received at least two weeks before departure. The US is currently accepting any vaccines approved by the FDA and WHO.
Airlines operating flights to the US will also need to collect personal information for contact tracing purposes. This information will be kept on file for 30 days to allow health officials to get in touch with anyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19.
Travellers under the age of 18 will be exempt from the vaccine requirements, in addition to those with medical conditions, but they must also provide proof a negative Covid-19 test.
Non-tourist travellers from countries with a shortage of vaccines, and nationwide vaccination rates of less than 10 per cent, will also be eligible for exemption from the rules. Unvaccinated travellers will need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within one day of travelling.
The news follows the initial announcement of the reopening of the US made in September, though at that time the date had not been confirmed.