Yesterday, the United States announced it would ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals visiting the country beginning November.
In early 2020, in reaction to the growing pandemic, President Donald Trump limited travel first from China and then from the UK, Ireland, and the Schengen zone. These restrictions have remained in place––until yesterday’s announcement.
“International travel is critical to connecting families and friends, to fuelling small and large businesses, to promoting the open exchange ideas and culture. That’s why, with science and public health as our guide, we have developed a new international air travel system that both enhances the safety of Americans here at home and enhances the safety of international air travel.”
– White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients
The White House said yesterday that fully vaccinated adults from 33 countries, including the UK, China, and EU nations, would be allowed to fly into the US. This is great news for skiers and holidaymakers from the UK and Europe wishing to visit the US this winter.
Issues could arise over which vaccine(s) the US recognizes––the AstraZeneca vaccine has been widely used across Europe but not been approved for emergency use in the US, reports the Independent.
“We are grateful the US has recognized the progress the UK has made against Covid-19, including high vaccination rates and declining cases. It’s great news for families and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic”.
– UK ambassador to the US, Dame Karen Pierce
The CDC will also insist on a contact-tracing order that will require airlines to collect information on travelers entering the US. President Biden has also doubled the fine for not wearing a mask on planes.
According to Wikipedia, the Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement signed in Schengen, Luxembourg.