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White House Announces New Vaccine Requirements for International Travelers

Oct 25, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday requiring all foreigners entering the United States by air to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Starting on Nov. 8, foreign travelers will need to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.

Children under 18 are exempt from the new requirements, but they will still need to show proof of a negative test.

The new travel system replaces restrictions that banned travelers from most of Europe, India, China, South Africa, Ireland, Brazil, and Iran.

“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 vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States,” President Biden said in his proclamation.

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Unvaccinated American citizens and lawful permanent residents will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of departing.

The Biden administration first announced in September that it would remove travel restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers, without saying when the new requirements would go into effect.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also put a contact tracing system in place, requiring airlines to collect phone numbers and email addresses from U.S.-bound travelers.

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