US to ease travel restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign visitors

Washington: The United States on Monday (local time) announced that it will ease travel restrictions on foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVD-19 from November, US media reported.

“Beginning in early November, foreign nationals flying to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and they must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a US-bound airplane,” CNN quoted White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients as saying.

There will be a requirement for pre-departure testing for foreign nationals coming to the US within three days prior to departure, with proof of a negative result required. Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be “subject to stricter testing requirements,” Zients said, and will need to test within one day of departure with another test required upon arrival.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be issuing a contact tracing order, requiring airlines to collect information from US-bound travelers, including phone number and email address. Airlines will be required to keep contact tracing information for 30 days, CNN reported.

“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.”

According to CNN, the US travel ban was first imposed in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic when then-President Donald Trump limited travel from China in January 2020.

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