The United States announced on November 8 that it would open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries.
Under the new rules announced by the White House, vaccines that test negative 72 hours before travel are allowed.
This move is the end of the strict restrictions imposed on travelers since the beginning of last year.
A White House spokesman said, “This policy is guided by strict and consistent public health.”
The new rules apply to Schengen countries, groups of 26 European countries, and the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland and South Africa. Current regulations prohibit access to most non-US citizens who have stayed in the United Kingdom, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, or various European countries for the past 14 days.
However, this policy has caused controversy, as many of the passengers from the other 150 countries suffered from high Covid infections.
Authorities have announced that individuals who receive one of the vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or receive an emergency list from the World Health Organization (WHO) will be eligible for this system.
The emergency use aspect will allow travelers who have received AstraZeneca Jab, which is widely used in the United Kingdom, and China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines to enter the country.
It has also been confirmed that traveler quarantine is not required upon entry. This announcement was immediately celebrated by future travelers from all over the world. Among them was Dan Johnson, who lives in Kent. He told the BBC that he would not be able to visit his father in the United States until he died of his cancer in March. “I couldn’t say goodbye and haven’t seen him since 2019 due to travel restrictions,” he said. “It was the hardest thing in the world. The ban seems too late, but that means I can finally visit my stepmother and help me find my dad’s property.” Another UK Resident Kate Urkhart said she would travel to Los Angeles in November to see the final concert of the farewell tour of American rock band Monkeys. “I quit doing little,” she said. “Today’s announcement is good news.”
Friday’s announcement sheds light on the changes first announced in September. Biden administration officials initially said the new policy would come into effect in early November, and many foreigners are wondering when to develop or adjust their travel plans.
Virgin Atlantic CEO Shy Weiss welcomed the move, saying it reflected the successful global launch of the vaccine.
“The UK will be able to strengthen its ties with its major economic partner, the United States, by promoting trade and tourism and connecting friends, family and colleagues,” he said. The United States is far behind many other countries in lifting travel bans, causing friction among some of its allies.
US officials announced on Tuesday that they would also end full immunization restrictions at the Canadian-Mexico border.
However, unvaccinated travelers will be denied access to the border.