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The U.S. to Relax Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Foreign Travelers

The U.S. to Relax Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Foreign Travelers

In a bit of great news for business travel, the U.S. is poised to ease up on pandemic travel restrictions for vaccinated international travelers from 33 countries in early November. The new policy requires citizens of these countries to show proof of vaccination before boarding U.S.-bound flights. They will also need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure. 

The U.S. has been under increasing pressure to relax restrictions for months, especially since many of these countries have already welcomed Americans back. The U.K. and E.U. countries have had relaxed restrictions for vaccinated U.S. travelers since the summer. Countries that will benefit from the new U.S. policy include Brazil, China, India and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe. 

Those foreign nationals not previously affected by the U.S. travel restrictions will now be expected to comply with the vaccine requirement.

Experts predict industries that have been severely impacted by the restrictions including travel, retail, and dining will see a rebound in business. The current U.S. restrictions banned travel from most of the world, so thousands of foreigners with family and business ties to the U.S. have not been able to visit. 

In a separate announcement, the U.S. extended land border restrictions for nonessential travel for incoming visitors from Canada and Mexico to at least Oct 21, 2021. Officials gave no indication if either country would be a part of the new vaccine rules for border crossings. 

Unvaccinated children traveling with vaccinated parents will be exempted from the vaccine requirement, and the White House indicates there may be other exemptions carved out in the official policy. Full details have not yet been released. 

Unvaccinated Americans returning from international travel will now face strict rules as well. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a day of travel, and proof of purchase of a viral test to be taken after being allowed reentry.