By November, air travelers from 33 countries are finally allowed to enter the United States as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House announced on Monday.
In a news report by Agence France-Presse, Jeffrey Zients, the coronavirus response coordinator for President Joe Biden, told reporters that the new "consistent approach" would be effective "early November."
"Most importantly, foreign nationals flying to the US will be required to be fully vaccinated," Zients said.
Although several safeguards will remain to curb the spread of the virus, wherein COVID-19 has killed more than 670,000 Americans.
Allies also welcomed the decision of the US to uplift the air travel ban.
It was not immediately clear if the new rule only applied to US-approved vaccines or if other brands, such as those produced in China or Russia, would also qualify. Zients said the US Centers for Disease Control would determine that.
However, it is not clear yet if the new rule applies to only US-approved vaccines or if other brands, such as those manufactured by China and Russia, are qualified.
Zients answered the US Centers for Disease Control would determine that.
Meanwhile, restrictions on vehicle movement from Canada and Mexico will remain in place. "We do not have any updates on the land border policies," Zients said.
Passengers bound to the US must present that they are fully vaccinated before boarding the plane, and they are required to provide proof that their COVID-19 test result is negative and taken within three days.
For Americans who are not fully vaccinated, Zients said they are still permitted to enter, but only on testing negative within a day of travel.
Masks will also be mandatory on US-bound flights, and airlines will give the US health authorities contact tracing information.
"This new international travel system follows the science to keep Americans' international air travel safe," Zients stated.
While it had been widely expected that President Biden would reopen borders to the European Union and Britain, the announcement included countries from across the globe.
"This applies to all international travel," Zients said.
Currently, only US citizens, residents, and foreigners with special visas can enter the United States from most European countries.
(Sebastian Smith, Agence France-Presse)