White House Planning to Require Foreign Travelers to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

The White House is developing a plan to require most foreign travelers to the U.S.A. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Reuters reports.

Restrictions on international travel to the U.S. have remained in place for much of Europe, China, South Africa, India, Iran, Brazil, and more. The White House is not ready to lift these restrictions due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the Delta variant but does want to reopen travel soon. A vaccine requirement might be the way to do that.

A Biden administration official told Reuters that they have interagency groups working “to have a new system ready for when we can reopen travel.” This system includes “a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated.”

The White House has been communicating with airlines and other travel organizations about how to implement a vaccine requirement, including what proof would need to be provided. There is also the question of whether or not the U.S. would accept vaccines that other countries are using but have not been approved for use in the U.S.

There is no announced timeline for when the vaccine requirement may go into effect or other travel restrictions will lift.

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