Previous regulations prevented entry of those who had been in 33 countries, including all Schengen countries and the UK, within the past 14 days
According to a statement from the White House, the United States plans to ease travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated international visitors from November 2021.
The lifting of blanket restrictions on travel to the US from certain countries will come as welcome news to thousands of foreign nationals with families in the US who have been kept apart during the pandemic.
The new rules will require all foreign nationals arriving in the US to show proof of full vaccination
The White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said that the new rules would take effect in early November in order to give agencies and airlines time to prepare.
In addition to requiring proof of vaccination, the administration said it was taking other steps to mitigate the spread of the virus in three other areas, including testing, contact tracing and masking.
Fully vaccinated foreign nationals and American citizens returning to the US from abroad will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of their flight, and show proof of a negative result before boarding.
Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be subject to stricter testing requirements, including a test within one day of departure and an additional test when they return.
IATA director general Willie Walsh welcomed the decision, saying: “This announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of Covid-19 from blanket considerations at the national level to the assessment of individual risk.
The next challenge is finding a system to manage the risks for travellers who do not have access to vaccinations
“Data points to testing as a solution. But it’s also critical that governments accelerate the global rollout of vaccines and agree on a global framework for travel where testing resources are focused on unvaccinated travellers. We must get back to a situation where the freedom to travel is available to all.”