U.S. Opens To Foreign Travelers With New Requirements
First flights with vaccinated EU citizens to the USA 08 November 2021, Hessen, Frankfurt/Main: A woman walks through the boarding area at Frankfurt airport with a USA flag for a Lufthansa flight to New York. As of November 8, flights with vaccinated EU citizens to the USA will be allowed again. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa (Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images) picture alliance / Contributor
Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

On Monday, the United States initiated new requirements for travelers coming into the country.

Last month, the White House released guidance on the new restrictions, stating:

Starting on November 8, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the U.S.

The administration will be allowing some unvaccinated international travelers to come into the United States, but the allowance will reportedly be few.

The White House noted that these exceptions will be extended to children under the age of 18, “certain COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, those with medical contraindications to the vaccines, those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons (with a US government-issued letter affirming the urgent need to travel), those who are traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low-vaccine availability (as determined by the CDC), and other very narrow categories.”

The administration also noted that those who come into the U.S. will need to say they will “comply with applicable public health requirements,” which includes the condition that they get vaccinated if they are going to stay in the United States for more than 60 days. 

The new rules also involve testing requirements. Regarding testing rules, the White House stated: 

  • For those Americans who can show they are fully vaccinated, the same requirement currently in place will apply – they have to produce a negative test result within three days of travel.
  • For anyone traveling to the United States who cannot demonstrate proof of full vaccination, they will have to produce documentation of a negative test within one day of departure.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also previously explained the testing requirement for people traveling from foreign countries. 

The CDC stated: “Effective November 8, 2021 … before boarding a flight to the US from a foreign country, all air passengers- 2 years or older – are required to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result, within a time period based on their vaccination status … or present documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days.”

The move comes after the Biden administration continued to extend restrictions on travel into the country, even as other nations opened their borders. 

As NPR reported on Monday, “Airlines are expecting more travelers from Europe and elsewhere. Data from travel and analytics firm Cirium showed airlines are increasing flights between the United Kingdom and the U.S. by 21% this month over last month.”

As Fox News reported, it will be the responsibility of the airlines to make sure the new rules are followed.

Airlines “will have to verify vaccine records and match them against ID, and if they don’t, they could face fines of up to nearly $35,000 per violation. Airlines will also collect information about passengers for contact tracing efforts. There will be CDC workers spot-checking travelers for compliance in the U.S.,” the outlet noted. 

U.S. land borders between Mexico and Canada will also reopen to fully vaccinated travelers reportedly with no requirement of a negative test. 

As the White House announced last month that it would be reopening its land borders between the U.S. and Mexico as well as the U.S. and Canada to fully-vaccinated travelers, lawmakers and others responded to the news, saying the extended restrictions should have been lifted earlier. 

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) pressed for more action and noted that the recent development is “long, long overdue.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) pointed out that Canada loosened its restrictions earlier than the United States. 

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