Beginning in November, President Joe Biden will relax foreign travel restrictions to the United States, allowing visitors to enter with proof of immunization and a negative COVID-19 test, according to the White House.
The new rules will replace a jumble of limitations that previously banned non-citizens from entering the United States if they had spent the previous 14 days in Europe, much of Asia, or some other nations. Families and others who have been separated for 18 months due to travel restrictions will be able to plan for long-awaited reunions as a result of the reforms. The new standards, released by White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, will still require all foreign visitors flying to the United States to show confirmation of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test done within three days of flight. Mr. Biden will also strengthen testing requirements for unvaccinated American citizens, who will be required to be tested both before and after returning to the United States. Mr. Zients stated that travelers who are fully vaccinated will not be subjected to quarantine.
The policy change will replace President Donald Trump’s patchwork of travel bans, which were first implemented last year and tightened by Vice President Joe Biden, and restrict travel by non-citizens who have spent the previous 14 days in the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, India, Iran, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, or South Africa.
Those travel limitations had become a cause of significant geopolitical discontent, especially among friends in the United Kingdom and the European Union, where virus infections are far lower than in the United States. The relaxation comes ahead of Biden’s discussion with a few European leaders this week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Mr. Zients explained, “This is based on individuals rather than a country-based approach, therefore it’s a stronger system.” The EU and the United Kingdom had previously taken steps to allow vaccinated Americans to enter their borders without being subjected to quarantine.
Non-US citizens who spent the previous 14 days in the United Kingdom, European Union nations without border controls, South Africa, Iran, Ireland, China, India, or Brazil are currently barred from entering the US on a regular basis. Additionally, any unvaccinated Americans returning to the United States will be subjected to more stringent testing standards. They will be asked to test within one day of departure, and then again once they arrive.