The U.S. lifted on Monday the international travel ban for vaccinated visitors imposed in March of 2020 when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.
Starting Monday, visitors from the EU, U.K., South Africa, India, Brazil, and China will be free to visit the U.S, with a new set of rules, including vaccination requirements.
#COVID19: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic take off together to symbolise the return of flights to the US for the double jabbed 🛫
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 8, 2021
The U.S. first announced its plans to allow vaccinated foreign travelers into the country back in September but had only recently set the exact date in November on which the restrictions will be lifted.
The move comes long after the UK and the EU removed corresponding restrictions on Americans visiting Europe; US residents have been traveling across the Atlantic since early Summer, although they were earlier subject to testing and having to show proof of vaccination status upon arrival.
Here are the new rules as set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS)
Proof of vaccination for travel to the US
Under the new rules, inbound non-citizens will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before they fly into the U.S. That means the second of a two-dose vaccine must have been completed at least two weeks prior to departure. Documentation can be shown as either a paper certificate, a photo of the document or a digitized version. It will be reviewed by airline personnel.
Accepted vaccines are those approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and those listed for use by the World Health Organization: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The U.S. will also require proof of a negative Covid test from within the past three days for all vaccinated travelers. The country has required that since January for all arrivals, including U.S. citizens.
If any traveler is not vaccinated, including U.S. citizens, the Covid test must have been taken within one day of departure.
Both rapid antigen and PCR test results will be accepted.
Minors and other vaccine exemptions
The U.S. has outlined a number of exemptions to the new rules. Those include international travelers under the age of 18, since some countries haven’t yet authorized vaccines for children or have low vaccine availability.
International visitors over the age of 2, traveling with vaccinated adults, must still show proof of a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure. If they are traveling unaccompanied they must show proof of a test taken within one day.
The U.S. is also exempting vaccination requirements for visitors from 50 countries that have low vaccine availability and vaccination rates, including much of Africa as well as Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq and Armenia.
The US follows in the footsteps of Australia which announced the lifting of its travel ban on November 1.