The United States will reopen in November to air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said on Monday, easing tough pandemic-related restrictions that started early last year.
The decision, announced by White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients, marked an abrupt shift for President Joe Biden’s administration, which said last week it was not the right time to lift any restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Travelers will need to show proof of full vaccination prior to boarding U.S.-bound planes. A COVID-19 test will also continue to be required within three days of departure and proof of negative results must be shown. Enhanced contact tracing and masking will also be required, but there will be no quarantine mandate
Foreign travelers must provide proof of vaccination before getting on a flight to the United States starting in “early November,” Zients told the Times. Unvaccinated Americans looking to travel home from overseas will have stricter testing requirements. They must show a negative COVID-19 test the day before traveling to the United States and must be tested again after arrival, Zients said.
Former President Donald Trump imposed the ban as coronavirus was spreading across Europe. While European countries have seen a third wave of infection fueled by the Delta variant, rates in several countries have begun to level off and even decline.
ARTICLE: JENNIFER BARRETO-LEYVA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PEOPLE.COM
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