US to ease international travel ban on November 8

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© CHRIS HELGREN The White House on Friday announced fully vaccinated foreign travellers will be able to visit the US beginning November 8. Reuters

Fully vaccinated foreign travellers will be able to enter the US beginning on November 8, the White House announced on Friday.

“This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel,” White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz said on Twitter. “This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.”

The rules are set to effect visitors from up to 33 countries.

The measures are the biggest changes to US travel policy since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, and replace a system that flatly barred most foreign nationals coming directly from certain places, including Europe, India, Brazil and China.

Passengers wear protective masks and hold American and British flags as their JetBlue flight to London takes off from JFK International Airport, New York. Reuters The White House said it will end the 18-month ban on foreign travellers entering the US from November. AFP People queue to board a tourist bus in New York. About 3.8 million British nationals visited the US each year before the pandemic. AFP A British Airways passenger aircraft takes off from London City Airport. The relaxation will now bring the US more in line with the UK, which in October will introduce a new set of travel rules for England, scrapping the traffic light system. Bloomberg Tourists walk on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. The easing of travel restrictions, imposed by Donald Trump as the Covid-19 pandemic first erupted, will mark a significant shift by President Joe Biden. AFP Travellers make their way through Gatwick Airport in London. The announcement is a major boost for airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Getty Images Passengers queue at Dulles Washington International Airport in Virginia. The travel industry is slowly recovering as more and more countries relax restrictions. AFP Travellers arrive at Miami International Airport. The US is set to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign visitors from November. AFP

US President Joe Biden reinstated the ban in January 2021.

Foreign travellers must show proof of vaccination, arrive with a negative Covid-19 test result taken three days prior to arrival, must wear a mask throughout the journey and share their email address and mobile number for contact-tracing purposes, The Telegraph reports.

Further guidance on “very limited exceptions” to the requirements will be announced ahead of the November 8 date, an official told CNN.

A separate official told The Associated Press that all vaccines approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration as well as those that have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organisation, would be acceptable.

Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all been approved and authorised by the FDA. AstraZeneca is not approved by the FDA, but it is approved by the WHO.

Mixing and matching vaccines has also not been approved by the FDA.

The White House announced earlier this week it would lift restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign nationals for non-essential travel at US land borders and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico in early November. Land and ferry travellers will be required to present proof of vaccination to officials upon request.

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