Joe Biden issues new vaccine rules for international travellers coming to the US

US President Joe Biden will impose Covid-19 vaccine requirements for most foreign travellers coming into the country when the travel ban lifts on November 8.

The ban has prevented people from China, India and much of Europe visiting since early 2020 and, instead of broader, country-based travel restrictions, Biden is moving to a vaccination-based system.

‘It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the Covid-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccinations to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States,’ Biden’s order said.

Though there are several exceptions, only foreign nationals with vaccinations approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed to fly to the US.

For vaccinated travellers, both American and international, proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure will be required.

Children under 18 are exempt from the new vaccine requirements, as are people with some medical issues.

Non-tourist travelers from nearly 50 countries with vaccination rates of less than 10% will also be eligible for exemption from the rules, but will likely have to be vaccinated within 60 days of entering the US.

For travellers entering the US who cannot show proof of full vaccination, a negative test taken within one day of departure is required, instead of the current three days, the White House said.

This will be required of both un-vaccinated Americans returning to the states and international travellers.

There are no religious exemptions for international travellers seeking to avoid the Covid-19 vaccination requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC issued new contact tracing rules on Monday, which will require airlines to collect information from international passengers like phone numbers, email and US addresses.

Foreign nationals looking to cross the land borders from Mexico or Canada for non-essential reasons will also be able to beginning November 8, USA Today reported.

In January those travellers, including those crossing the border for essential purposes, will be required to show proof of full vaccination.

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