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USA opens borders for tourists from all countries: what are the requirements for entry

The United States will require contact tracing and vaccination checks when restrictions on foreign travel to the country end next month, reports CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

The administration of the 46th President of the United States Joe Biden plans to allow vaccinated visitors from abroad to enter the country from 8 November.

Basic requirements

On October 25, the White House said it would require airlines to check documents confirming vaccination from Covid-19 for all air passengers traveling to the United States; and collect their contact information and provide it to federal officials as part of the new rules that will take effect on November 8.

The new rules, published by President Joe Biden on Monday, will apply to foreign visitors from all countries, including more than 30 countries, including the United Kingdom and Brazil, which have been banned from entering the United States since the beginning of 2020 due to the difficult situation with the coronavirus. ...

Exceptions to the rules

Exceptions to visitor vaccination requirements include travelers under the age of 18 or those with medical reasons for not being vaccinated, according to senior Biden administration officials.

Foreign visitors between the ages of 2 and 17 must take a Covid test three days prior to departure if traveling with a fully vaccinated adult.

On the subject: About 28 million children from 5 years old will soon be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Other exceptions include those traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low vaccine availability.

A senior administration official said there are about 50 countries that would meet these criteria. But those individuals who receive an exemption due to low availability of the vaccine must provide a letter issued by the US government stating the urgent need for travel.

Fully vaccinated people are officially considered to be those who have passed two weeks since their last dose of Covid-19 vaccine or a single dose of vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson.

Digital and paper copies of vaccination certificates will be accepted.

What vaccines are accepted and what about Sputnik V

The new US plan requires most non-citizens wishing to enter the United States to be vaccinated with vaccinations approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

People vaccinated with the following vaccines will be able to enter the United States:

  • Pfizer
  • Modern
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • astra zeneca,
  • Sinopharm and Sinovac

But Sputnik V, an adenovirus-based vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Moscow Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, has yet to be approved by WHO. Therefore, the new rules prohibit those vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine from entering the United States.

They exclude many people who consider themselves fully immunized, including the millions who received two doses of Sputnik V.

“This is a big problem for Russian travelers and people from other countries who have received Sputnik V,” said Judith Twigg, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Global Health Agency recently announced that suspended the vaccine review processciting concerns about manufacturing practices at manufacturing plants in Russia and the possibility of a stable vaccine production in accordance with the required standards.

Huge deferred demand

Airlines, hotels and other travel companies have been urging the US government to open borders for over a year.

The US imposed tight restrictions in early 2020 when the Covid pandemic began.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants, and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Executives at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines said this month that transatlantic travel bookings have skyrocketed since the Biden administration announced plans to replace country-specific travel bans with vaccination requirements.

“It is clear that there is significant pent-up demand for travel to and from the US, and many customers want to travel when allowed,” American President Robert Isom said in a quarterly phone call on Thursday.

In the spring, European countries began to open up to US travelers with testing and vaccine requirements, but Washington did not reciprocate.

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