Starting in November, foreign citizens can once again fly to the United States, providing they have proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a negative coronavirus test.
It’s the first easing of complicated rules that have kept many non-citizens from traveling to the United States.
The policy replaces a patchwork of travel bans
Once the changes take effect, families and others separated for nearly a year and a half can have long-awaited reunions. The policy replaces numerous bans put in place by former President Trump and strengthened by President Biden, restricting travel for non-citizens from:
- United Kingdom
- European Union
- Republic of Ireland
- South Africa
National leaders, airlines, businesses and travelers welcomed the news, saying it’s long overdue.
Travelers must provide proof
Despite the loosening of travel rules, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients says all foreign visitors must show they are fully vaccinated and offer proof of a negative COVID test taken within three days of their flight.
President Biden also announced the U.S. is tightening testing rules for unvaccinated Americans returning home, saying they need to be tested within one day of departure and again when they arrive. These stricter rules are part of sweeping requirements encouraging more people to get vaccinated.
Under the revision, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires airlines to gather personal information from international travelers to facilitate contact tracing. No immediate changes were announced for U.S. land policies, which still restrict cross-border travel with Canada and Mexico.