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White House to Lift Travel Restrictions Into U.S. For Vaccinated Foreign Nationals

The Biden administration is easing restrictions on foreign nationals wishing to fly to the U.S.

Starting in early November, they will be allowed to enter this country if they can show proof they have been vaccinated for COVID-19, and that they have tested negatively for the virus within three days of their flight.

The new policy was announced Monday by Jeffrey Zients, Biden’s COVID response coordinator. It replaces a patchwork of travel bans on travelers from China, India, Europe and more, put in place by the Trump administration.

This new loosening of restrictions does not, however, apply to ground travel from Canada and Mexico.

The travel bans, many in place for well over a year, separated families and negatively affected the tourism industry in the U.S., where international travel is a big part of business. A hash tag, #LoveIsNotTourism, took off on social media, with people advocating for an end to the travel bans at least for those who are fully vaccinated.

Zients said the Biden administration will be working with the airlines in the coming weeks on how to best implement the new procedures. He said travelers will also have to provide their phone numbers and e-mail addresses to allow for enhanced contract tracing.

The new system, Zients said, “allows us to implement strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID” from passengers flying to the U.S.

Unvaccinated Americans will be allowed to travel back to the U.S. but will have to show proof of a negative COVID test within one day of their flight.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2021 KQED