The United States must demand contact tracking, a vaccination test when lifting international travel restrictions

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A traveler wears a face mask while checking his phone at the level of arrivals outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) amid rising Covid travel restrictions. 19 on January 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

The White House said Monday it will require airlines to check the Covid-19 vaccination test for air travelers to the United States and provide contact information to federal officials as part of the new rules coming into effect. force when the U.S. lifts restrictions on international visitors next month.

The Biden administration earlier this month said it plans to lift pandemic restrictions banning most visitors from more than 30 countries, including the UK and Brazil, on November 8, allowing vaccinated travelers to enter. . The rules were first implemented by the Trump administration in early 2020 and then expanded by the Biden administration this year.

The new rules, issued by President Joe Biden on Monday, will apply to foreign visitors, including those coming to the United States from countries that were not on the banned list.

Exemptions from visitors ’vaccination requirements include travelers under the age of 18 or those who have medical reasons that prohibit them from getting vaccinated, senior Biden administration officials said. Foreign visitors between the ages of 2 and 17 still have to take a Covid test three days before departure if they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult.

Other exemptions include those traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low vaccine availability. A senior administration official said there are about 50 countries that would adapt to this bill, but that people receiving the low-availability vaccine exemption should provide a letter issued by the U.S. government stating the urgent need to travel.

Officials believe he has been fully vaccinated two weeks since the last dose of a Covid-19 vaccine or a single-dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month said they would accept a combination of two doses of vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or listed by the World Health Organization. of Health for emergency use. Digital and paper copies of vaccine certificates will be accepted.

The CDC will require airlines to collect and track passenger contact information and be able to share it with federal officials.

Airlines, hotels and other travel companies have been asking the U.S. government for more than a year to reopen borders. The U.S. set these restrictions in early 2020 at the start of the Covid pandemic.

Executives from Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines this month said bookings for transatlantic travel have increased since the Biden administration announced it planned to replace country-specific travel bans with vaccination requirements.

“Clearly, there is a significant accumulated demand for travel to and from the United States and many customers are eager to travel again when allowed,” American President Robert Isom said Thursday in a quarterly call.

European countries began opening up to American travelers in the spring with vaccine testing and requirements, but Washington did not respond to the measure.

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