The United States is set to lift months-long Covid-19 travel bans on foreign air travellers from more than two dozen countries, while imposing a vaccination requirement for most non-American visitors arriving by plane.
The new rules, which take effect on November 8, remove Covid-19-related restrictions that barred entry for most non-US citizens who have spent the past 14 days in China, Iran, Britain, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and India.
For non-US citizens coming from China – who have been subject to the longest-running restrictions – it will be the first time in more than 21 months they can enter the United States, unless they had a valid reason such as for study.
“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,” US President Joe Biden said in a presidential proclamation released on Monday.
Vaccination is a cornerstone of the new policy, which suspends the entry of unvaccinated people who are not US citizens or immigrants to the US, except in limited circumstances. Travellers will need to comply with vaccination verification and contact tracing measures.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest rules.
Who can travel to the US?
The new rules, which apply to non-US citizens and non-immigrants travelling by air, remove all restrictions based on locations visited in the past 14 days. Instead, restrictions will now be based on vaccination status.