Fully vaccinated visitors from 33 countries will be allowed to enter the US from 8 November, the White House has said, marking a significant relaxation of the country’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
“The US’s new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travellers to the United States will begin on Nov 8,” tweeted White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz.
“This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.”
The ban on the majority of non-US citizens entering the US has been in place for more than 18 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It was initially put in place by former president Donald Trump, with incumbent Joe Biden recommitting to the ban in January this year.
The plan to lift the ban comes days after the secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, announced that fully vaccinated people coming from Canada and Mexico would be allowed to travel into the US via land and ferry.
“In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travellers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,” said Secretary Mayorkas in a statement.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Officials who spoke to reporters ahead of Friday’s announcement said that people entering the US would be questioned about their vaccination status by Customs and Border Protection as part of the admissions process.
Passengers arriving in the country will be expected to present a negative coronavirus test, taken in the 72 hours before their journey, while it was also announced that there would be no quarantine required for visitors entering the country.
The US Travel Association’s chief executive Roger Dow said the 8 November reopening was “critically important for planning – for airlines, for travel-supported businesses, and for millions of travellers worldwide who will now advance plans to visit the United States once again”.
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