US Lifts Travel Ban For UK And EU Travellers With Double Vaccination
The US will ease its COVID-19 travel restrictions later this year, allowing fully vaccinated travellers from the UK and EU to enter the country.
The new rules come as part of a broader set of changes for international travel to and from the US, opening up the country to those who’ve received two doses of the vaccine.
It also follows lobbying from lawmakers in Westminster and Brussels, with the ban first enforced 18 months ago by former president Donald Trump. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to further pressure President Joe Biden to allow UK travellers when they meet tomorrow, September 21.
The current restrictions aren’t a blanket ban on all travellers, although the exemptions are limited: American citizens and families; green card holders; and people with national interest exemptions are still allowed to enter the US if they’ve been in the UK or EU over the past two weeks, as per The Guardian.
The rules are set to apply from November. Residents from the Republic of Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India will also be permitted to enter the country if they’re fully vaccinated.
Passengers will be required to show proof of vaccination before boarding a plane to the US, as well as providing a negative test result that came in within 72 hours of departure. Contact tracing will also be implemented, with passengers’ details being held for 30 days in the event of a positive test.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said the decision came as part of an ‘individual rather than country based approach’ and the Biden administration acted ‘with science as our guide’.
While it’s unclear which vaccines will be accepted under the rules, Zients said they were ‘effective against the Delta variant’ and ‘the best tool in our armoury’.
Erica Barks-Ruggles, a senior official in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, also said, ‘This is really driven by the science of COVID and as more people are being vaccinated around the world, we of course want people to be able to travel more freely.’
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