The US announced a new international travel system on Monday that would allow fully vaccinated people to enter the country from November. This essentially also lifts the travel ban previously imposed by the USA for countries such as India. Former President Donald Trump had imposed a blanket entry ban for foreign travelers to the United States at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
Vaccinated people from countries like India can now travel to the US with proof of vaccination before flying to the US, White House officials said. “Today we are announcing a new international air travel system. This new system includes rigorous protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by passengers flying to the United States, protect Americans, and make international air travel safer, “said the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters during a virtual press conference.
The United States, he said, has developed a new international air travel system, using science and public health as a guideline, that will increase both the safety of Americans here at home and the safety of international air travel. “Most importantly, as of early November, foreign nationals flying to the United States must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination before boarding a plane flying to the United States,” he said.
When asked about the existing quarantine requirements and travel bans from countries like India, Brazil, Great Britain, China, Iran and South Africa, Zients replied in early November that the United States will switch to this new and much stricter global system.
“It will require nationals to be vaccinated, show they are vaccinated, and then go to testing and contract-tracking regimes,” he said. “That’s right, there will be no quarantine required for (fully) vaccinated travelers in the future,” he said in response to another question.
Almost six billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide, he said, adding that the US is leading efforts to get even more shots and guns around the world. “We know vaccines are affected, including against the Delta variant, and vaccines are the best line of defense against COVID.” These vaccination regulations use the best tools to keep people safe and prevent the virus from spreading.
The new international air travel system requires not only full vaccination of nationals, but also other proven disease containment strategies, improved contact tracing testing and masking, he assured.
According to Zients, travelers who are fully vaccinated must take a pre-departure test and demonstrate a negative test within three days of leaving for the United States.
Additionally, unvaccinated Americans returning to the United States are subject to stricter testing requirements. You must take a test within one day of departure and must retest when you arrive. In the coming weeks, CDC will issue a contact tracing mandate that will require airlines to collect updated information from every traveler traveling to the US, including their phone number and email address. This will allow CDC and state and local health officials to track incoming travelers and their surroundings as someone may have been exposed to COVID-19 or other pathogens.
“What is important is that this improved contact tracing system will not only help us fight this virus. It will also strengthen our public health surveillance system against future public health threats, “the White House official said. Masking requirements on airplanes and the TSA doubled fines for passengers who refuse to mask.
In response to a question, Zients also said it was up to the CDC to determine which vaccine would be acceptable for entry into the US.