US opens borders to those who are fully vaccinated


Now that the COVID threat across the globe has eased a little, with vaccines are being administered widely and swiftly, many countries going back to business as it was and people are resuming traveling without hesitation.

Now the US is opening its borders to those who are fully vaccinated.

On Monday, September 20, US President Joe Biden announced that from November, he will ease foreign travel restrictions, allowing those who have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test, said the White House.

The changes will allow families and others who have been separated by the travel restrictions for 18 months to plan for long-awaited reunifications.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients announced the new policies, which still will require all foreign travelers flying to the U.S. to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of flight.

Biden will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who will need to be tested within a day before returning to the U.S., as well as after they arrive home. Fully vaccinated passengers will not be required to quarantine.

The new policy will replace the patchwork of travel bans first instituted by President Donald Trump last year and tightened by Biden that restrict travel by non-citizens who have in the prior 14 days been in the U.K., the EU, China, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.

Those travel bans had become the source of growing geopolitical frustration, particularly among allies in the U.K. and EU where virus cases are far lower than the U.S. The easing comes ahead of Biden meeting with some European leaders on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly this week.

“This is based on individuals rather than a country-based approach, so it’s a stronger system,” Mr. Zients said. The EU and the U.K. had previously moved to allow vaccinated U.S. travelers into their territories without quarantines.