U.S. Updates Travel Policy Requiring Covid-19 Vaccination

Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

This policy will allow the resumption of regular international travel for those who are fully vaccinated.

The White House and CDC announced on October 25 details of the new Covid-19 vaccination policy that will go into effect for international travelers on November 8.  As of that date, foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of State said that this policy prioritizes public health, protecting U.S. citizens and residents as well as those who come to visit the U.S. Because it puts public health first, exceptions to this policy will be extremely limited:  including children under 18 and certain individuals in countries where vaccines are not yet readily accessible.

The updated travel guidelines also include new protocols around testing. To further strengthen protections, unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. Citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to test within one day of departure.

For those who are vaccinated, the testing requirement remains three days before their flight. Ensure that you are ready to travel internationally and return by reviewing the information at Covid-19 Traveler Information (state.gov) and at cdc.gov.

This policy will allow the resumption of regular international travel for those who are fully vaccinated. Families and friends can see each other again, and tourists can visit the U.S. national parks and famous landmarks. “This policy will further boost economic recovery across the United States, and we are pleased to see it go into effect on November 8,” said the U.S. statement.

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Rakesh Raman