The US, which closed its borders to much of the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, plans eventually to begin allowing fully vaccinated travellers back in, according to a White House official.
The official said that the Joe Biden administration is developing “a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States — from all countries — need to be fully vaccinated”.
Although the official did not mention the timeframe, a working group is developing a “consistent and safe” new system for international entries.
Recently because of the Covid Delta variants surge, the Biden administration has adopted numerous travel restrictions curtailing international trips to the US.
The United States has restricted travel from the European Union, Britain, China, and Iran for more than a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, later adding other countries including Brazil and India.
All travelers to the US, regardless of vaccination status, are required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of air travel to the country.
Currently, the only foreign travellers allowed to cross by land into the US from Mexico and Canada are essential workers such as truck drivers or nurses.
The Biden administration has faced pressure to lift some restrictions from affected allies, the air travel industry, and families who have been kept separated from loved ones by the rules.
Many have complained that the travel restrictions don’t reflect the current virus situation – particularly as caseloads in the US are worse than in many of the prohibited nations.
The Biden administration has been talking to several US airlines in recent weeks about establishing international contact tracing for passengers before lifting travel restrictions.
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