The Biden administration announced on Monday a major easing of pandemic travel bans, which will allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the U.S. beginning in November. Under the new policy, all foreign travelers flying to the US must present proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline, as well as proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to flying. While there is no quarantine requirement, the White House will implement enhanced contact tracing and continue to require masks on flights. Additionally, unvaccinated Americans returning to the United States will need to provide a negative test within one day of leaving and again after arriving.
This new policy is set to replace various travel bans on visitors from 33 countries, which were first introduced by the Trump administration in 2020 and further tightened by the Biden administration. These travel bans restrict traveling by foreign visitors who have been in China, Iran, European Schengen region, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India within the 14-day period prior to entry. Currently, foreign travelers who are subject to one of the travel bans may apply for a National Interest Exception (NIE) under the guidance published by the State Department. It is expected that the current NIE requirements will become obsolete once the new policy becomes effective.
The administration said that it will task the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with determining which vaccines qualify under the new policy. The Associated Press reported that CDC has announced that the U.S. will accept any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
Please contact your Klasko Law attorney with any questions on this new development.
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