USA Announces New International Travel Guidelines

The US is opening doors for International travel from November 2021. Fully vaccinated travelers from across 33 countries will be allowed in the US. 

To avoid any further Covid-19 spread the US is reportedly working on mitigation strategies like enhanced testing, contact tracing, and masking. The US is reported to strictly adhere to the new international travel guidelines. 

  • Passengers will have to be fully vaccinated and take pre-departure testing up to three days prior to departure. The passengers will have to carry proof of negative tests.
  • According to the new US policy, only adult foreign nationals need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the US. There is no clarity on testing protocols for unvaccinated children flying to the US.
  • It has been reported that according to the US Centers for Diseases Control & Prevention (CDC) the US will accept fully vaccinated travelers with any Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), including those from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The WHO has also approved AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac. Presently WHO is reviewing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, but hasn’t approved it yet.
  • Reports point that if the need arises contact tracing might be conducted and for that, the CDC will require airlines to collect information about passengers and provide it to the health agency.
  • There might be restrictions on crossing land borders from Mexico and Canada into the US. This means that in some cases, fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico and Canada will soon be able to fly to the US, but may not be able to take the same journey by land.

Unmasked passengers will have to pay a heavy penalty:

  • Reports suggest that US President Joe Biden has extended the masking requirement on airplanes.
  • Reports also claim that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has doubled the fines for passengers who refuse to mask.
  • First offenders who refuse to wear a mask in flights, at airports, and on trains, buses, and other forms of public transport could face fines between $500 and $1,000. Repeated violations will cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

According to a statement published by the CDC on 1 October 2021, Covid vaccination is a must for Green Card, and individuals who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those without it will not be permitted to apply for lawful permanent residence.

It is to be noted that the requirement applies both in cases of those already within the US and for fresh applicants applying at US embassies and consulates.

Reports claim that the decision has been taken to halt further spread of SARS-CoV-2, especially the Delta and Mu strains.

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