U.S. To Require Most Foreign Travelers To Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

By Bill Galluccio

September 20, 2021

Americans Travel Ahead Of Labor Day Weekend As CDC Recommends Unvaccinated Stay Home
Photo: Getty Images

The United States is planning to ease travel restrictions on international visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Starting in November, travelers from the United Kingdom, European Union, and several other countries will have to prove they are vaccinated and present proof of a negative COVID test before boarding their flight.

"They must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane," White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said.

Unvaccinated Americans who are returning to the U.S. will have to provide proof of a negative test taken within one day of their departure and will have to get tested again when they arrive.

Airlines will also be tasked with collecting contact information for all travelers to help officials with their contact tracing efforts in the event that a visitor tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 after they arrive in the U.S.

"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.

The decision to ease the restrictions comes following months of pressure from travel groups and foreign leaders. The travel restrictions were put in place in March 2020 and now cover more than 30 countries.

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