Citing increasing vaccination rates around the world, the United States announced yesterday that it will lift travel restrictions for vaccinated visitors from 33 countries, including China and much of Europe, starting in early November—possibly in time for IMEX America in Las Vegas.
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White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said the decision about what vaccines will be accepted is up to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He pointed to a new travel tracking system that will collect contact tracing data from passengers to enable the CDC to contact travelers exposed to Covid-19.
Unvaccinated citizens will have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test within a day of travel and be tested again after arrival.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow welcomed the news. “The U.S. Travel Association applauds the Biden administration’s announcement of a roadmap to reopen air travel to vaccinated individuals from around the world, which will help revive the American economy and protect public health.”
He called the decision “a major turning point in the management of the virus [that] will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs lost due to international travel restrictions.”
Border Restrictions Extended
The same day, restrictions on “nonessential” land border crossings from Canada and Mexico to the U.S. were extended through Oct. 21. The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada, based in Ottawa, consider “essential travel” to be “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.”
In August, Canada started allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors for all travel purposes, including meetings and tourism.