U.S. Plans to Require Proof of Vaccination for Foreign Visitors
The United States could soon reopen travel for foreigners, but they will have to be vaccinated. The US is taking the first steps toward requiring vaccinations for nearly all foreign visitors, a White House official said Wednesday. Once a plan is in place, then the United States is expected to lift travel restrictions that bar much of the world from entering the country.
While most restrictions have been lifted domestically, foreign tourism is almost non-existent and has been so for almost a year and a half now. Allowing foreigners to visit would be a big boost for airlines, hotels and the tourism industry in general.
Reuters reports that there are interagency working groups working “to have a new system ready for when we can reopen travel.” It includes “a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated.” The administration must also decide what proof it would require for vaccinations and if vaccines that some countries are using but are not authorized by U.S. regulators will be accepted.
Restrictions for travel to the U.S. were first imposed on China in January 2020 to address the spread of COVID-19 many other countries have been added since. Currently, non-U.S. residents who have been to China, the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and India in the prior 14 days are prohibited from entering the U.S.. Additionally, all travelers to the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of air travel to the country.
Some countries, such as Canada and United Kingdom, are relaxing or lifting restrictions for vaccinated Americans. The European Union is also opening up.