UNITED STATES: The U.S. will soon ease its COVID-19 travel restrictions, reopening to travellers from the U.K., EU and other nations.
From November, most foreign travellers will be allowed to fly into the U.S. as long as they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and undergo testing and contact tracing.
Testing will also be required for unvaccinated Americans and entry will be barred for foreigners who haven’t gotten shots.
The measures announced Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to the tough U.S. travel policies in months. White House Covid-19 co-ordinator Jeff Zients on Monday said: “This is based on individuals rather than a country-based approach, so it’s a stronger system.”
“We know vaccines are effective, including against the delta variant, and vaccines are the best line of defence against Covid, so this vaccination requirement deploys the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” Zients told reporters on Monday.
The current rules bar entry to most non-U.S. citizens who have been in the U.K. and a number of other European countries, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within the last 14 days.
Under the new rules, foreign travellers will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before flying, obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of travelling, and provide their contact details. They will not be required to quarantine.
Officials said there would be some exceptions to the new policy, including for children who are not eligible to be vaccinated.
Unvaccinated American travellers will need to test within one day of departure, and Zients said they will be “required” to test again on arrival.
The move answers a major demand from European allies and means that families and friends separated by the restrictions can be reunited.
“It’s a happy day – Big Apple, here I come!” French entrepreneur Stephane Le Breton told the Associated Press news agency, as he looked forward to a trip to New York City that had been put on hold because of the restrictions.