U.S. Changes International Travel Requirements, COVID Vaccine Policy.
Just weeks before the new requirements for international travelers is set to take effect in the U.S., the Biden administration announced significant changes.
“In the next two weeks, we’ll work with all of you and with the travel industry stakeholders to make implementation of this policy as smooth as possible for everyone,” said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
In a press conference, the State Department said the requirements are going to be even stricter than previously announced.
“Today, the White House and CDC announced details of the new vaccination policy that will go into effect for international travelers on November 8. As of November 8, foreign national 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 in the United States,” Price stated.
The move is said to “put health first.” However, critics have called the move invasive and unnecessary.
“This policy puts public health first. It is consistent and stringent, protecting U.S. citizens and residents, as well as those who come to visit us,” said the spokesperson. “Because it puts public heath first, exceptions to this policy will be extremely limited, primarily children under the age of 18 and certain individuals from countries where vaccines are not yet readily accessible.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 25, 2021
Despite the new stricter protocols, the U.S. said it will still be requiring all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to also be tested for COVID shortly before boarding their flight.
“Those who are eligible to travel, but not yet vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day before their flight’s departure. For those who are vaccinated, the testing requirement remains three days before their flight,” Price confirmed.