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The U.S. government has announced it will lift the travel ban for nearly two years for vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including China, Brazil, South Africa and more. Americans returning to the country must give negatives within a day of arriving. Infectious disease experts say the elevator should not be considered a “turn” of the pandemic and that travelers should travel with COVID-19 safety precautions in mind.
Starting Nov. 8, the U.S. government will lift the travel ban for some travelers, ending a 21-month restriction that prevents international travelers from entering the counter.
The travel ban was implemented with the intention of curbing the spread of COVID, especially the highly contagious Delta variant. Traveling countries such as China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil and several European nations were banned from entering the United States.
Social isolation was an unfortunate byproduct of these measures. When the news of the lifting of the travel ban spread, many people rejoiced. For some people abroad, it means they will finally be able to reunite with loved ones after a separation of almost two years.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, there are some rules in place for people who want to come to the US
There are two requirements for travelers arriving in the United States following the lifting of the travel ban. Travelers must be completely vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and must be negative for COVID before they are allowed to enter the country.
As defined in the Provisional Public Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, you are considered fully vaccinated:
2 weeks after its second dose of COVID-19 in a series of 2 doses (Pfizer and Modern) 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)
According to the CDC, people will also be considered fully vaccinated after receiving two doses of combined vaccines on the WHO-approved list.
Bojana Beric-Stojsic, PhD, MD, associate professor of public health and program director of Farleigh Dickinson University’s Master of Public Health program, tells Verywell that it doesn’t matter which vaccines are combined, because “each vaccine provides immunity and protection.” against COVID.
Along with vaccination, travelers will also need to take COVID tests. People with a negative COVID will only be allowed to enter the country within three days of departure.
The same applies to Americans who will return to the states. They must give negatives within one day of departure or arrival.
“I think it’s a good idea to allow ground and air travel to the U.S. to vaccinate people who tested negative within 72 hours before the trip,” says Beric-Stojsic, adding that the reason for this is because now there are more data on COVID-19, including its symptoms and spread; the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and the best ways to mitigate outbreaks.
While the lifting of the travel ban “could be a sign that the pandemic is under control,” Beric-Stojsic “would not yet qualify it as the pandemic’s most important turn.”
Are the requirements sufficient?
Vaccines and negative testing have helped curb COVID transmission, but Beric-Stojsic says a regular cadence of vaccine and COVID status checks will be needed at border checkpoints.
“As long as airlines and border checkpoints comply with the policy (checking the status of vaccination and testing negative tests for travelers) we should be safe,” says Beric-Stojsic. “All other variants appear to be less invasive.”
Karen L. Edwards, Ph.D., professor and president of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, Irvine, tells Verywell that follow-up should also be a constant effort.
“We need to watch for the emergence of new variants that can circumvent current vaccines,” Edwards says. “However, at this time, vaccines are very effective against the most common variants that are in circulation.”
Research has shown that COVID-19 vaccines protect against variants such as Alpha and Delta. For example, a recent study showed that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines were effective against 93.7% against Alpha and 88% against Delta.
Still, Beric-Stojsic and Edwards recommend making a mistake on the side of caution because there are still so many unknowns. Preliminary data have shown that mixing and combining vaccines can amplify immune responses, but the duration of protection is less clear.
Edward says “we still need more data,” but that “as long as people are fully vaccinated using an approved vaccine, the risks should be within reasonable limits.”
Impact of the ban on travelers
People around the world felt the effects of the ban; if it meant they were apart of family and friends or that they had to change travel plans. Some people, such as health workers, were sent to help when the pandemic picked up strength and have been waiting a long time to reconnect with loved ones.
When the ban was enacted, some people were able to continue traveling because they qualified for the National Interest Exception (NIE). However, public health workers traveling to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or to continue the ongoing investigation were not automatically considered for the NIE. Instead, these workers had to apply for it.
While there are reasons to relax and get excited about the lifting of the travel ban, if COVID-19 has proven anything to the world, it’s that it’s highly unpredictable. Therefore, experts continue to emphasize that the best protection against the spread and spread of the virus is to be vaccinated.
For those who travel and those who are still at home, Beric-Stojsic reminds us of the steps we can take to stay safe: “Get vaccinated, wear masks inside, isolate yourself from the first sign of illness. , get tested and consult a doctor in case of a positive test “.
The information in this article is updated on the date indicated, which means that there may be newer information when you read this. For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit our coronavirus news page.
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