US to relax travel rules for vaccinated passengers from UK and EU

US

Vaccinated passengers will be able to enter the US from the UK and EU from November onwards, ending almost two years of coronavirus travel restrictions.

The new rules would be part of broader policy changes for international travel and will apply to fully vaccinated people – meaning those who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

All foreign travellers will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of the flight.

It will end an 18-month patchwork of travel restrictions imposed by former president Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic.

However, President Biden will tighten rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who now need to be tested within a day of their departure from the US as well as on their return.

Those fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine.

Airlines will be required to collect contacting tracing information – including phone numbers and email addresses – from international travellers.

More on Covid-19

The changes only effect air travel, with the order restricting overland travel from Canada and Mexico still in place and reviewed on a monthly basis.

Under the previous policy, only American citizens, their immediate families, or green card holders could enter the US from the UK or EU.

However, the American government had the power to grant national interest exemptions to allow people to travel.

The US also banned travel for anyone who had been in China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, or India, 14 days prior to arriving in the country.

Anyone travelling outside any of these areas had to apply for a visa or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the US as a visitor.

In July, the UK waived quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated arrivals from the USA.

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