The situation with COVID-19 continues to develop in the United States and around the world.
We’ve been sharing updates about COVID-19 case numbers in Florida, the state of emergency that was issued in Orange County, Florida, updates to mask rules, and more. Recently, some news has been shared regarding travel restrictions and what may be required to enter the United States from abroad in the future.
According to Reuters, President Biden’s administration is reportedly working on a plan that will “require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of eventually lifting travel restrictions.”
Reuters reports that the White House wants to re-open travel to the US, but is not ready to immediately lift its restrictions due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the impact of the Delta variant.
A White House official told Reuters that the Biden administration has groups working to have a new system ready for when travel restrictions can be lifted and more travel can reopen. The official shared that the plan includes a “phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated.”
The White House has reportedly held discussions with airlines and others about how this policy of requiring vaccines for foreign travelers would be implemented. The Biden administration will also need to determine what proof of vaccination would be accepted and what COVID-19 vaccines will also be accepted.
Note that at the moment the United States has decided not to lift its travel restrictions. Current US restrictions bar most non-US citizens from entering the US if they have been in “United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil” within the last 14 days.
According to Reuters, industry officials reportedly think it will be “at least weeks and potentially months” before the United States’ travel restrictions are lifted.
Reuters also notes that the White House official they spoke with did not immediately answer questions about whether the US is also working on plans to require visitors arriving from Mexico or Canada to be vaccinated before crossing land borders, or if this is something focused only on those arriving by air.
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more travel news and new rules or regulations that may impact your future trips. Stay tuned for more updates.