With two weeks to go before international travel between the US and Ireland reopens, the Biden administration has revealed the new rules that will apply to international arrivals.
Under the new rules, a vaccination test will be required for foreign nationals even to board a plane to the U.S.
The White House says there will be “very limited exceptions” to this rule, but children and people who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons will not have to be vaccinated.
Everyone will still have to produce a negative COVID test result before the trip: three days for vaccinated passengers and one day for unvaccinated passengers (including US citizens).
The new rules will apply when the US reopens its borders from November 8, after 18 months of strict controls on international travel.
Eoghan Corry, editor of Air and Travel Magazine, spoke with Newstalk Breakfast on the details of these new rules.
He said: “We received a clarification from the Biden administration on what happens on November 8 … when the United States reopens to international travel.
“It’s very much as expected: you’ll have to have your full vaccination course, plus a cooling-off period at the end. You have to check with the airline; it’s probably going to be a U.S. location form.
“You only need to be vaccinated with a double vaccine, but there is a small surprise. Children and adolescents up to the age of 18 are admitted.”
Everyone will need “absolutely” a PCR test, regardless of the status of their vaccine.
Vaccines currently used in the United States, including Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, will be recognized for international travel under the new rules, once two weeks have elapsed after a passenger’s last dose.
Although the AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved for use in the US, it is being recognized for international travel.
He said: “Some of the other vaccines are not [recognised], but doesn’t really affect the Irish -Sputnik-V, for example.
“AstraZeneca is present, and that’s a big relief, as one in six Irish people got it.”
Eoghan said seat prices are rising, but selling rates are being put in place to boost interest in the new routes.
He said Aer Lingus currently only operates basic routes such as Chicago, Boston and New York.
However, restart dates have now been given for other routes, so Eoghan said passengers can expect cheaper seats as more routes are restarted after the long pause for transatlantic travel.