Wednesday 10/20/21
CORONAVIRUS

US to lift entry restrictions on vaccinated foreigners in November

Many Europeans have been frustrated by the exclusion
FILED - A tourist sits on her suitcase and waits for a return flight to her home country from Frankfurt. A US entry ban for Europe - now set to fall away for those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 - has disrupted travel the last two years. Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa
A tourist sits on her suitcase and waits for a return flight to her home country from Frankfurt. Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa.

The United States will lift travel restrictions on people from abroad who can prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus starting in early November, the White House said on Monday.

The United States currently bars entry for most non-citizens from 33 countries, including European Union members, Britain, India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Iran.

Former president Donald Trump had ordered an entry ban on foreigners for several nations in March 2020, as the pandemic began locking down countries across the globe.

The restrictions were then kept in place by President Joe Biden, citing the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

The restrictions state that only US citizens and permanent residents, along with their family members, can enter the US if they have been in the 33 countries in the past 14 days. All others need special permission.

Many Europeans have been frustrated by the exclusion, especially after the EU's executive body recommended in June that member states lift restrictions on entry by US citizens.

'Logical decision'

European Commissioner Thierry Breton called Monday's announcement by the White House "a logical decision given the success of our EU vaccination campaign."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was set to meet with Biden in the US this week, said he was "delighted" by the White House's announcement.

"It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again," he said in a statement.

In announcing the lifting of the travel ban, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients also said US-bound travellers will also face new testing protocols.

In addition to demonstrating proof of being fully vaccinated, foreign nationals must also show a negative test result within three days of the flight. There will be no quarantine requirements upon arrival.

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