US to Open Air Border to Fully Vaccinated Visitors

The US will soon reopen its air borders to foreign visitors who have been fully vaccinated with one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, or who test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of travel, the White House said Monday. ).

The new rules will take effect from Nov. 8, and “only certain exceptions” are allowed, senior officials of the Biden administration said in a briefing with reporters.

Those exceptions include the unnecessary need for vaccine requirements for visitors from about 50 countries with very low vaccination rates, including some of the world’s poorest countries, many of them in Africa. Children under the age of 18 are also exempt from the vaccine requirement for now, but must still show negative evidence of COVID-19.

The vaccines received were three approved by the US Food and Drug Administration: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

Those exempted from the regulation include “certain COVID-19 clinical trial participants, those with contraindications to the vaccine, and those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons,” the White House said. In addition, those granted an exemption must agree to be vaccinated in the US if they will be staying here longer than 60 days.

Airplane passengers who have not been vaccinated — including US citizens and permanent residents — must now show proof of a negative test within a day of departure. Children under the age of two do not need to be tested, and adjustments will also be made for those who can prove to have recovered from the virus in the past 90 days. [vm/jm]

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