Washington: The US announced Monday a new international travel system. In the new system fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed to enter the US beginning in November. This essentially also lifts the travel ban on countries like India that the US had earlier enforced. Former president Donald Trump had imposed a blanket ban on foreign travellers entering the US at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
Vaccinated people from countries like India can now travel to the US. However, they will have to provide proof of their vaccination before they start flying for the United States, White House officials said.
“Today (Monday) we’re announcing a new international air travel system. This new system includes strict protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from passengers flying into the United States. It is for protecting Americans and making international air travel safer,” White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters during a virtual news conference.
The United States, Zients said, with science and public health as its guide, has developed a new international air travel system. It enhances the safety of Americans at home and also enhances the safety of international air travel.
“Most importantly, beginning in early November, foreign nationals flying to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated. They and they must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a US bound airplane,” Zients informed.
Responding to a question on the existing quarantine requirements and travel ban from countries like India, Brazil, United Kingdom, China, Iran and South Africa, Zients said early November the United States will move to this new and much stricter global system.
“It will require for nationals to be vaccinated, to prove they’re vaccinated, and then to go to the testing and contract tracing regimens,” Zients stated. “That’s right, for (fully) vaccinated travellers it is not required to be a quarantine going forward,” he said in response to another question.
“Nearly six billion Covid-19 vaccines have already been administered globally. The US is leading the effort to get even more shots and arms across the world. We know vaccines are affected, including against the Delta variant and vaccines are the best line of defense against COVID,” Zients stated.
Zients said fully vaccinated travellers will need to complete pre-departure testing within three days prior to departure to the US and show proof of a negative test. Furthermore, any unvaccinated Americans returning to the US are subject to stricter testing requirements. They will need to test within one day of departure, and will be required to test again, post their arrival.
Noting that earlier this month, President Joe Biden extended the masking requirement on airplanes and TSA doubled fines for passengers who refuse to mask, Zients said it is simple masking helps stop the spread of Covid-19. “If you break the rules, be prepared for the consequences,” he pointed out.