The White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that beginning in November the Biden administration will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the United States. Fully vaccinated travelers will need to complete pre-departure testing within three days prior to their departure to the U.S. There will be no quarantine requirement.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will determine the definition of “fully vaccinated” and what vaccines qualify for this policy.
- The CDC will issue a contact tracing order requiring airlines to collect current information from each U.S.-bound traveler, including a phone number and email address.
- “This will enable the CDC and state and local public health officials to follow up with inbound travelers and those around them if someone has potentially been exposed to COVID-19,” Zients said.
The new rules will require all foreign nationals arriving in the United States to show proof of being fully vaccinated. “The lifting of blanket restrictions on travel to the United States from certain countries will come as welcome news to thousands of foreign nationals with families in the United States who have been kept apart for almost the entire pandemic.
The administration said it was taking other steps to mitigate spread of the virus in three other areas: testing, contact tracing and masking.
- Fully vaccinated foreign nationals and American citizens returning to the United States from abroad will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of their flight.
- Must show proof of a negative result before boarding.
- Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be subject to stricter testing requirements including a test within one day of departure and an additional test when they return.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue a contact tracing order requiring airlines to collect information from US-bound travelers, including a phone number and email address, to alert travelers of potential exposure.
- Airlines will be required to keep contact tracing information for 30 days.”This will enable CDC and state and local public health officials to follow up with inbound travelers and those around them if someone has potentially been exposed to Covid-19 and other pathogens,” Zients said, adding that this new requirement will be used more broadly going forward to help protect “against any future public health threats.”
- The new guidance applies to all international travel. Zients said the White House would defer to the CDC on the definition of “fully vaccinated,” including on which vaccines qualify. The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is not yet approved for emergency use in the US, but is widely used in Europe and the rest of the world.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.