It’s time to renew those passports.
President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday imposing new vaccine requirements for most foreign national air travelers and lifting severe travel restrictions on China, India, and much of Europe. The new rules will take effect on November 8, the White House said.
The U.S. travel restrictions were first imposed in early 2020 to address the spread of COVID-19. The rules bar most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls.
The United States’ new international air travel policy, effective November 8, replaces the existing country-by-country restrictions, putting in place a consistent approach worldwide. https://t.co/oOT2DogVfv pic.twitter.com/Q6tXgWTRP9
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 25, 2021
One concern among U.S. officials and airlines is making sure foreign travelers are aware of the new vaccine rules that will take effect in just two weeks as well unvaccinated Americans who will face stricter testing rules. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued on Monday new contact tracing rules requiring airlines to collect information from international air passengers like phone numbers, email and U.S. addresses and retain it for 30 days in case it needed “to follow up with travelers who have been exposed to COVID-19 variants or other pathogens.”
Norway and Sweden ended all Covid restrictions 3 weeks ago.
🇳🇴🇸🇪No vaccine passports
🇳🇴🇸🇪No social distancing
🇳🇴🇸🇪No travel restrictions
Since then, daily infections in both countries have fallen. pic.twitter.com/qQcLaEq9cr
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) October 18, 2021
The White House confirmed that children under 18 are exempt from the new vaccine requirements as are people with some medical issues. Non-tourist travelers from nearly 50 countries with nationwide vaccination rates of less than 10% will also be eligible for exemption from the rules. Those receiving an exemption will generally need to be vaccinated within 60 days after arriving in the United States.
From @POTUS on new COVID-19 international travel rules for November 8:
"move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination"https://t.co/eEbHHy1Xfp pic.twitter.com/jKsOjD46fp
— Alexander Tin (@Alexander_Tin) October 25, 2021
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to issue a security directive that provides the legal basis for airlines implementing the vaccine requirements.