President Biden’s Update On Ending Europe Travel Ban

President Biden’s Update On Ending Europe Travel Ban

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Update: It has been announced that for the time being the United States won’t lift its travel bans.

The United States has had a variety of travel bans in place during the pandemic, preventing non-Americans from entering the country if they’ve been in certain foreign countries in the past 14 days. We’ve seen bans against BrazilChina, India, the Schengen Zone, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

None of these travel bans have been removed up until this point, even for countries where cases have gone down. There’s now an update on that… sort of.

Discussions happening to end Europe travel ban

President Joe Biden hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House yesterday, and the two discussed a variety of topics. One question raised by the press was the current travel ban that the United States has in place against the Schengen Zone of Europe.

What did Biden have to say about discussions over lifting the Europe travel ban? Biden said that “it’s in process now,” and that he expects to be able to answer “within the next several days what is likely to happen.” Biden is apparently waiting to hear from his coronavirus team as to what should be done.

Merkel at least publicly supported his stance, stating that whatever decision is made needs to be “sustainable,” and that “it is certainly not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days.” As a point of comparison, the European Union’s travel ban against the United States recently ended, so Americans can travel to Germany without many restrictions.

Americans can once again travel to Germany

What should we make of this?

Personally I don’t interpret Biden’s update to mean that the current Europe travel ban will necessarily be ending imminently. Rather discussions are taking place so that Biden can provide an update in the coming days. Keep in mind that it was just recently revealed that the United States’ travel ban against the United Kingdom is unlikely to end this summer.

If the primary discussions taking place are with the coronavirus team, I have a hard time imagining that the answer will be to open up borders. There had been reports in March that the United States would lift travel bans in mid-May, but it seems that variants have delayed that timeline significantly.

Personally I think it’s time to open up borders. All adults in the United States have had access to the vaccine for well over two months now. While vaccinated people can of course still get coronavirus, the risk of hospitalization or death is extremely low. Cases in the United States are rising, and that’s primarily due to unvaccinated people. I’m not sure continuing to not live life because of them does a whole lot of good.

And let me also clarify that I think it’s a totally different story in countries where vaccines haven’t been readily available for an extended period of time, and/or if the vaccines weren’t overwhelmingly protecting people from hospitalization due to variants.

It’s anyone’s guess when the US lifts its travel bans

Bottom line

President Biden’s team is allegedly having discussion about ending the Europe travel ban. There should be an update in the coming days, but personally I don’t interpret that to mean that the travel ban will be lifted in the coming days.

I certainly hope it’s lifted soon, but I wouldn’t be holding my breath. I don’t necessarily think we’re any closer to restrictions being lifted than we were before yesterday’s press conference.

What do you make of Biden’s update on travel bans being lifted?

Conversations (85)
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  1. Luke

    With covid cases on the rise again, LA reimposing indoor mask mandates even for the vaccinated, and uncertainty over vaccine efficacy on the delta variant, wouldnt count too much on these international restrictions being loosened anytime soon unfortunately.

    1. Tom

      I wouldn't say uncertainty at all. In fact, data shows the vaccine is extremely effective against the delta variant. Now does the government utilize this data and actually base policy off proven scientific study as they so proudly say they do? Time shall tell.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/delta-variant-hospitalizations-covid-coronavirus-vaccine-immunity-11626374706

  2. khatl

    Lift all travel for vaccinated adults to any countries where all adults can get a vaccine if they want it. Unvaccinated people should be unable to travel unless they have a negative PCR test and either a medical or age exemption (i.e. a young child). Keep the mask mandate for travel. Maybe they'll wait for July data to confirm what they found in June about the reduction in risk for vaccinated people. I don't think it needs to be more complicated than that.

    1. Darin

      In theory that sounds logical, but how do you enforce it? Unlike UK's NHS, there's no central repository of who has actually been vaccinated in the US. Relying on the flimsy and easily forged vax cards does not provide real proof.

      This is why LA has instituted mask rules again. If you have rules like mandatory indoor masks for unvaccinated... and unvaccinated people flout those rules... the only way to enforce the rule is...

      In theory that sounds logical, but how do you enforce it? Unlike UK's NHS, there's no central repository of who has actually been vaccinated in the US. Relying on the flimsy and easily forged vax cards does not provide real proof.

      This is why LA has instituted mask rules again. If you have rules like mandatory indoor masks for unvaccinated... and unvaccinated people flout those rules... the only way to enforce the rule is to make everyone do it.

      If you were to open the borders to vaccinated people only, how would you be able to ensure that unvaccinated people aren't returning with new strains of the virus?

      So you're back to everyone needing a testing regime to return.

      No easy answers here.

    2. Florian

      There's been more than enough time to come up with more than the flimsy CDC card. Those who are vaccinated shouldn't have restrictions imposed onto them b/c the federal government is unwilling and/or unable to come up with a useful certificate of vaccination.

    3. Todd

      Unfortunately we have too many Republican governors who will draft new laws to outlaw any official digital vaccination attempts and/or take the federal government to court if the latter tries to impose anything.

    4. dee

      And whose states are functioning and doing better than all of the BLUE liberal left wing states???? The REPUBLICAN STATES !!!daaaaa

    5. UA-NYC

      Dee don’t be dumb. Blue states contribute far far more of country GDP. And Red states are getting hammered by Delta right now. Darwinism at its finest actually.

    6. DCS

      Dee don't be dumb

      Unfortunately, that's an impossible request to fulfill...

    7. jsnowe

      The people who make the money in the blue states are the red voters.

    8. Linhang

      The commons project is coming out with an initiative to use smart health cards that are verifiable as a way to replace the paper cdc cards

    9. Henry

      In NJ they have you put you name and DOB in to an app and you have proof on your phone. The federal government were totally remiss in not driving a separate vaccine passport

    10. Seattle Todd

      Very easy answer -- make it a requirement to get vaccinated in this country. Probably have to stop at making it illegal to remain unvaccinated. But reduce all services to the point that have to get vaccinated if you want any sort of life. At the moment, the unvaccinated are effectively doing the same thing to the rest of us -- severely limiting what we can do in our lives to the point that is...

      Very easy answer -- make it a requirement to get vaccinated in this country. Probably have to stop at making it illegal to remain unvaccinated. But reduce all services to the point that have to get vaccinated if you want any sort of life. At the moment, the unvaccinated are effectively doing the same thing to the rest of us -- severely limiting what we can do in our lives to the point that is painful. So rather than letting good old American obsession with freedom at all costs prevail, let science and public safety prevail this time.

  3. kenK

    what a shame that you would aver "While vaccinated people can of course still get coronavirus," when there is NO evidence documented and proven that this is so.

    1. JLH

      I have two coworkers who are fully vaccinated months ago and tested positive this week. Is that sufficient evidence for you?

    2. snic

      There is plenty of evidence for this. There is also plenty of evidence that illness is MUCH less severe in the vaccinated, and death rate is MUCH lower.

    3. EC2

      Then let the discussions and decisions be about the death rate. Right now the only discussion is on cases. That’s why the US government doesn’t give a damn if you’ve been vaccinated if you are coming back to the US. They want you tested. Can’t put oneself above everyone else because you’re vaccinated and won’t get seriously ill then harp about case # surges when vaccinated get infected. Gibraltar had 32 news cases today and...

      Then let the discussions and decisions be about the death rate. Right now the only discussion is on cases. That’s why the US government doesn’t give a damn if you’ve been vaccinated if you are coming back to the US. They want you tested. Can’t put oneself above everyone else because you’re vaccinated and won’t get seriously ill then harp about case # surges when vaccinated get infected. Gibraltar had 32 news cases today and all but 3 were vaccinated. Deaths in US way down so why focus on cases?

  4. Andy

    I certainly hope that the the blanket travel ban will be replaced by something more meaningful. I never understood why people could travel from high infection countries, like Peru, but not from extremely low infection ones like Finland ….

    1. Pierre

      It's called INEPTITUDE and it does not come in short suply. Politizing the whole topic with each side rejecting the other's position (Plenty of this here...) doesn't help.

      That one wears one's position on vaccines like a Party membership is a tragedy. Both sides have valid points and the decision to be vaccinated or not, with the accompanying freedoms and restrictions, should be a personal matter. It has become anything but.

    2. JDee

      What are the valid points about not getting vaccinated?

  5. Eskimo

    This is simple.
    If Biden doesn't keep the mask mandate, opening will lead to more case.
    Until we develop heard immunity, vaccinating 70% of adult isn't enough.
    Then there are bunch of those who isn't vaccinated and stopped using masks.

    But hey, the elephant in the room is the healthcare and insurance industry. Not sure how much money this average Joe or Don is making for making sure our country gets sick.

    This is simple.
    If Biden doesn't keep the mask mandate, opening will lead to more case.
    Until we develop heard immunity, vaccinating 70% of adult isn't enough.
    Then there are bunch of those who isn't vaccinated and stopped using masks.

    But hey, the elephant in the room is the healthcare and insurance industry. Not sure how much money this average Joe or Don is making for making sure our country gets sick.
    You still need the 3rd shot with 90%+? Sure why not, let them have cake.

  6. George

    Lol, I'm unvaccinated. Hit 40 countries in the last 2 years alone.

    We just skip the countries that have dumb requirements.
    No one pays attention to most of the rules anyway, which is nice.

    Life is pretty normal outside of the hysteria fueled 1st world.
    Really happy to be in places where people are alive - not prisoners of there politicians and giant media companies.

    1. Eskimo

      I suggest India. It is a cheap, with many exotic place, and nice people.

      It fits your requirements perfectly.

      Definitely not 1st world.
      As as far as I know, no Indians pay attention to most of the rules anyway.
      With 1.3 billion people, lots of people there are alive.
      In rural India, they don't even care about politicians and giant media companies, just how to make enough money to survive.

      @George go to India NOW!!!! You won't regret it.

  7. Florian

    Travel restrictions came way too late in 2020 to meaningfully stop the spread or even buy time, and now they are just being kept in place without much of a clue what they are still supposed to achieve (other than "doing something").

  8. Dick Bupkiss

    It's not complicated.
    1) Complete the full, formal approval (not just emergency authorization) for the vaccines we know work well.
    2) Require full vaccination (with approved vaccines) for all travel, and pretty much everything else in modern life where it's legally possible.
    3) Develop and deploy a national digital vaccine pass as the EU has done (if the EU, UK, France, New York and California can do it, the USA ought to...

    It's not complicated.
    1) Complete the full, formal approval (not just emergency authorization) for the vaccines we know work well.
    2) Require full vaccination (with approved vaccines) for all travel, and pretty much everything else in modern life where it's legally possible.
    3) Develop and deploy a national digital vaccine pass as the EU has done (if the EU, UK, France, New York and California can do it, the USA ought to be able to manage the task). Paper equivalents available for those medically exempt or technologically unable. It's INFRASTRUCTURE baby, can't we find some money for that?
    4) You want to do anything or go anywhere? Show your pass, no excuses. Only exceptions should be actual, real medical exemptions (no emotional support animals), period, no exceptions, hard line.
    4) Apply the same rules to international visitors who want to come here, and expect reciprocity. Testing, schmesting, it's not a substitute for vaccination and gives everyone a false sense of security. No vaxx, no travel, no nonsense, no drama. Only the medically exempt can travel without full vaccination, and they need PCR test before flight and every 6 days while away from home.

    Continue to incentivize everyone to get vaccinated, and penalize and restrict those who refuse. And stop apologizing for doing that.

    Maybe it's time to require proof of vaccination to vote -- that would solve a lot of our problems right there.

    Take the heat from all the anti-vaxx morons (they act out anyway, so stop trying to placate them -- see January 6), and lets move on. It's the only way to get "back to normal."

    1. snic

      Right on. All this is just common sense. Enough with this vaccine refusal nonsense. You don't want a vaccine, fine, but then stay home and don't spread your infection around to others who aren't able to get vaccinated due to medical reasons (e.g., allergy) or who are immune-compromised.

    2. Miamiorbust

      American is so lost and people like @dick are leading the way. We have come to believe that making people that disagree with us utterly miserable is a solution to nearly every problem. Alternatively, actually talk to people and accept timelines may be slower than you like. It has been six months. Get really. Cannot get 360 million people to agree on anything in six months. Accept that you will have restrictions and testing for...

      American is so lost and people like @dick are leading the way. We have come to believe that making people that disagree with us utterly miserable is a solution to nearly every problem. Alternatively, actually talk to people and accept timelines may be slower than you like. It has been six months. Get really. Cannot get 360 million people to agree on anything in six months. Accept that you will have restrictions and testing for some time - perhaps years - and adapt to that reality. @dick, scheduled your booster shot yet?

    3. RenMan

      Perfect! Finally, someone with a great persepctive on this. Great ideas, Richard (I know you're not a dick, so I wont repeat that name :-)

      And I love the comment about: no vax, no vote. Perfect.

      Well said. All of it.

      Thank you.

    4. Shutterbug

      Well, 'no vax, no vote' - Covid will take care of that to a certain extent.

    5. Cajmo

      Making those who legitimately can't get the vaccine for whatever reason get a PCR test every week seems a bit harsh. Otherwise, yeah

    6. UA-NYC

      Yes it is tough for that .000001% of the non under age 12 population

    7. Eskimo

      @Dick

      You forgot 2 things.
      1. We can't even control guns. Too much freedom, too many amendments, nothing can be done.
      2. No vaxx no vote. Remember all those recent times with low voter turn out? We got Trump, We got W.

      It's complicated. We value democracy and freedom.

      If you want to do what you listed maybe possible in China Russia or N. Korea.

  9. derek

    President Biden should INCREASE restrictions to Canada, banning Canadians from entering unless they quarantine for 3 weeks in a government approved facility and get tested 3 times, until Justin Trudeau opens up the border to Americans who are vaccinated and not require paid testing.

  10. Dan

    The US has no way to verify whether or not someone is vaccinated. If they wanted to come up with a central solution this needed to be setup BEFORE vaccines were administered.

    Although the system would have been pretty simple to setup the amount of transactions and implementation would have been complicated and costly. It would have definitely delayed getting the public vaccinated.

    This is 2021, we’ve been building digital infrastructure for decades yet your...

    The US has no way to verify whether or not someone is vaccinated. If they wanted to come up with a central solution this needed to be setup BEFORE vaccines were administered.

    Although the system would have been pretty simple to setup the amount of transactions and implementation would have been complicated and costly. It would have definitely delayed getting the public vaccinated.

    This is 2021, we’ve been building digital infrastructure for decades yet your average nitwit still can’t wrap there head around the very basics. This is the stuff that makes your life work folks, you might want to read a book or get a shot once in a while.

    There will be no accurate vaccine passport in the US.

  11. JOJO

    The travel bans need to be kept in place. Everyone in the world needs to be locked inside for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks everyone need to be tested. If you still test positive then back to a 1 month quarantine. We can stop this virus if every single person just stays home.

    1. Florian

      Oh yeah, to all the healthcare workers, police, firefighters, operators of critical infrastructure, please stay home for 3 weeks! :-)

      Can't we maybe just hold our collective breaths for 3 weeks? Now that should be foolproof.

  12. Donna

    Are we vaccinated Americans expected to wait forever for the hesitant and anti vaccine crowd to get onboard? Between the unvaccinated and the delta variant we are on the verge of another wave. It’s time to play hardball. I am all-in for vaccine passports for access to countries, venues and all air travel. Domestic as well. No vaccine then no access to sporting events, bars, commercial airliners, etc. If people don’t want the vaccine then...

    Are we vaccinated Americans expected to wait forever for the hesitant and anti vaccine crowd to get onboard? Between the unvaccinated and the delta variant we are on the verge of another wave. It’s time to play hardball. I am all-in for vaccine passports for access to countries, venues and all air travel. Domestic as well. No vaccine then no access to sporting events, bars, commercial airliners, etc. If people don’t want the vaccine then fine, but they don’t have the right to turn the country back to where it was last year and ruin it for the rest of us, especially the vulnerable who are either too young or health compromised to get vaccinated by placing their lives at risk.

    I’m fortunate to live in California where I have been issued what is essentially a vaccine passport, a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record with a QR code that does not expire. I’ve used it in the EU last month. My Covid testing requirements have been cut by over 50%.

    It’s time to open the borders to vaccinated people.

    1. Florian

      I second every word of that. We might run into some legal challenges here in Europe with some of those notions, but the direction should be clear: No restrictions for those vaccinated, tough restrictions for those who choose not to get their shots.

      Restrictions for those who are vaccinated is the worst you can do if you want to convince people to get a jab.

  13. Steve

    Vaccine passports are the answer too bad we wont get them in the US because Biden and Kamala are fighting for not needing ID to do various things. Just remember politicians on BOTH sides dont care about what is right they just care about what furthers their party and gets them reelected.

  14. Florian

    Why are we fussing about the US not having a digital certificate of vaccination? The EU does have one, and if the US were to open borders to vaccinated EU/Schengen area citizens where would that be checked? Correct, at the airport of departure by the airline, NOT at immigration. Just like test certificates these days. No big deal. The US doesn't have to do a thing.

    1. Henry

      This is fine in theory - but did you know the UK refuses to recognize anyone who has not been vaccinated by the NHS as ‘properly vaccinated’ so quarantine required!

      Also your comments appear to assume no one lives in the USA with an EU passport

    2. Florian

      Well the UK doesn't have to do it that way, obviously. And no, I know a lot of people who live in the US with a EU passport and work visa. Used to myself. But I fail to see the issue, they can use their CDC card in the EU to get a digital certificate before returning home. I know 2 people who did this successfully.

  15. Creditcrunch

    With Canada allowing vaccinated passengers from early Sept I think that will be similar to when the US will open up.

  16. Rambo

    Whenever a COVID travel topic comes up the comments are always amusing. Everybody has their 100% for sure game plan that will solve everything. Life doesn't work that way. A few thoughts:
    1. Is the goal eradication of COVID or to minimize hospitalizations and/or deaths? Remember flatten the curve? We did that very successfully (I know this, I work in a hospital and took care of COVID patients). Most people who get COVID do...

    Whenever a COVID travel topic comes up the comments are always amusing. Everybody has their 100% for sure game plan that will solve everything. Life doesn't work that way. A few thoughts:
    1. Is the goal eradication of COVID or to minimize hospitalizations and/or deaths? Remember flatten the curve? We did that very successfully (I know this, I work in a hospital and took care of COVID patients). Most people who get COVID do just fine, and never need hospital care. The goal of eradicating COVID will drive you crazy, and definitely infringe upon civil liberties in many countries.
    2. If someone has already had COVID and has antibodies why are we pushing them to get vaccinated? This is a huge issue, but with the message most governments send out on vaccination it complicates the message. There are many people with legit concerns about vaccine effects; this solves the problem for many. The medical literature on this topic is minimal to make judgments.
    3. If you want to blame the "stupid yahoos" that avoid masks and vaccines - why do you care? Any country that offers vaccine to all should be completely open. You're vaccinated, you're good to go. If they want to "take their chances" it doesn't affect you.
    4. A passport that includes COVID info for international travel makes sense. Just like yellow fever, etc. However, I cannot support this requirement for domestic travel in the USA. Remember the whole "my body, my choice" issue? You cannot mandate treatments like this for a condition with such a low risk of serious morbidity or mortality for most people.

    1. snic

      1. The goal is to get back to normal life. No one is talking about eradicating covid in order to do so. We are talking about building immunity among the population so that people are protected even if they can't get vaccinated for medical reasons (or their age - young children still can't get the vaccine) or are immune-compromised.

      2. Studies are pretty clear that the vaccines used in the US produce better protection than...

      1. The goal is to get back to normal life. No one is talking about eradicating covid in order to do so. We are talking about building immunity among the population so that people are protected even if they can't get vaccinated for medical reasons (or their age - young children still can't get the vaccine) or are immune-compromised.

      2. Studies are pretty clear that the vaccines used in the US produce better protection than having had covid.

      3. The stupid yahoos affect children and others who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons, as well as the immune-compromised, for whom vaccines do not work as effectively.

      4. My body, my choice to NOT get infected by some yahoo who refuses the vaccine for a moronic reason. Sorry, I have no sympathy for anyone who refuses the vaccine without providing an evidence-based reason. I am perfectly happy for them to not be allowed to travel, go to sporting events, etc. They should stay away from me and my family.

  17. stogieguy7

    The vaccines work. Now, that doesn't mean if you're vaccinated. you are 100% guaranteed not to catch the 'vid; but it pretty much guarantees that you won't die or be deathly ill with it. It will be a manageable illness, like so many others that we have in our lives. If you even catch it, which is unlikely.

    Therefore: if you have been fully vaccinated, you should be left the hell alone. Travel wherever...

    The vaccines work. Now, that doesn't mean if you're vaccinated. you are 100% guaranteed not to catch the 'vid; but it pretty much guarantees that you won't die or be deathly ill with it. It will be a manageable illness, like so many others that we have in our lives. If you even catch it, which is unlikely.

    Therefore: if you have been fully vaccinated, you should be left the hell alone. Travel wherever you want, no friggin' mask either. Those who aren't vaccinated shouldn't be worried about those who are. It's ridiculous theater. But one area where I disagree with many of my ideological compatriots is about vaccine "passports". Personally, I am in favor of a more robust document that is proof that I should be left the "F" alone regarding the Wuhan. Do it, and I'll gladly sign up.

  18. BWIAD

    Dick Bupkiss for President!!!!

  19. Tiffany

    Just FWIW for those calling out the problems with the CDC cards -- those were never intended to be either secure or formal proof of vaccine status. They were designed for efficient vaccination (the worst thing in February would have been to have vaccines available and be out of "paperwork"), and thus intentionally lack any/all security features.

    HOWEVER, every single vaccine administered in the United States, Covid or otherwise, is entered into a state and/or...

    Just FWIW for those calling out the problems with the CDC cards -- those were never intended to be either secure or formal proof of vaccine status. They were designed for efficient vaccination (the worst thing in February would have been to have vaccines available and be out of "paperwork"), and thus intentionally lack any/all security features.

    HOWEVER, every single vaccine administered in the United States, Covid or otherwise, is entered into a state and/or tribal database. With states like Florida that weren't necessarily stringently verifying IDs at mass clinics this isn't perfect, but the data exists, and is already available for all 2600+ public health districts, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, insurance companies, etc. Like if you can't remember when you got your last tetanus vaccine, but do remember the state you got it in, that can be tracked down.

    Creating a consumer-facing tool is always a bit tricky, and we likely lack the political will to do this properly, but the data is technically and potentially available.

    1. Sung

      @Tiffany
      I'm not sure if this is correct for all states. I grew up in VA and took vaccines here. My parents live abroad and they have no record of my vaccinations. After taking covid vaccine I was informed by VA health department that I can ask records of my vaccine. I went to their site and asked a complete record of my vaccination history, and it only had the recent 2 covid vaccines....

      @Tiffany
      I'm not sure if this is correct for all states. I grew up in VA and took vaccines here. My parents live abroad and they have no record of my vaccinations. After taking covid vaccine I was informed by VA health department that I can ask records of my vaccine. I went to their site and asked a complete record of my vaccination history, and it only had the recent 2 covid vaccines. Reading fine print, it seems like up until covid vaccines, it was not required to report vaccinations to VA health department database, thus why my vaccination history shows 0 vaccinations before covid vaccines. Or I'm missing something?

  20. Dougq

    It is long past time for us to learn how to live with covid. Vaccines are widely available and have been for some time. For most people this is probably the best way to protect themselves from infection (probably) and serious illness (almost certainly). For those who for whatever reason feel comfortable taking the risk of forgoing a vaccine, they join the long list of people who take risks every day by riding a motorcycle,...

    It is long past time for us to learn how to live with covid. Vaccines are widely available and have been for some time. For most people this is probably the best way to protect themselves from infection (probably) and serious illness (almost certainly). For those who for whatever reason feel comfortable taking the risk of forgoing a vaccine, they join the long list of people who take risks every day by riding a motorcycle, smoking cigarettes, or drinking large quantities of soda. Limiting movement and commerce does nothing to make people safer so it is time to end restrictions and let people assess risk, make decisions, and move on with their lives.

    1. Gaurav

      The problem with your examples of bikes and soda is that they do not present the threat of an active airborne vector that threatens other people.

  21. Jsnowe3312

    Time to let covid do it's thing Let it rampage aggressively and quickly. It will give us immunity faster and will kill off the weak. Let nature do its thing.

  22. Kevin

    Not sure why US isn’t open to all. If someone doesn’t want to be vaccinated, then so be it. Whether they get sick or not have nothing to do with me. I don’t think taxpayer money should cover hospital bill of those unvaccinated unless they have verified health problems with vaccine or children under 12. We all make choices and no one should be forced to do something they don’t want to do and neither...

    Not sure why US isn’t open to all. If someone doesn’t want to be vaccinated, then so be it. Whether they get sick or not have nothing to do with me. I don’t think taxpayer money should cover hospital bill of those unvaccinated unless they have verified health problems with vaccine or children under 12. We all make choices and no one should be forced to do something they don’t want to do and neither do taxpayers have to pay for consequence of said choice. Live and let live. We all need to take responsibility for the choices we make.

    1. Stu

      Can I drive at any speed on the highway, change lanes in any fashion I like at any time without signaling. No because we have rules of the road. Unvaccinated people infect others. Many who are unvaccinated also do not feel they should be compelled to wear masks or to socially distance. That behavior (Unvaccinated, unmask, no social distance) can infect others - even those who are vaccinated, wear masks and socially distance (such as...

      Can I drive at any speed on the highway, change lanes in any fashion I like at any time without signaling. No because we have rules of the road. Unvaccinated people infect others. Many who are unvaccinated also do not feel they should be compelled to wear masks or to socially distance. That behavior (Unvaccinated, unmask, no social distance) can infect others - even those who are vaccinated, wear masks and socially distance (such as my sister and brother-in-law). I am unsure why that doesn't compute for so many people across our country and around the world. It is not live and let live when it comes to a coronavirus. At least not according to most leading scientists. I suppose, unless you do not trust what you are being told. Then, it is hard to have a conversation when basic facts are fungible comodities and cannot be agreeed upon. Hope you will consider.

  23. Claus Andersen

    All borders needs to be re opened. The worst thing that can happen is people dying from boredom, while being locked up.

  24. Henry

    The foolish part is the EU countries have given away anything leverage by reopening to Americans.

    The bigger scandal is that people who are here on L1 or H1 visas are unable to visit family in the UK our EU and return directly home to the US as they would not be readmitted. Despite owning property/paying tax etc.

    However some vaccine denier can hop on a plane travel to the EU and return home freely.

    Get the vaccine and life returns to normal. Well it hasnt.

  25. dee

    Does Demented Joe really have anything to do with this BAN?? Does he know we REALLY have one in Place???? Not sure by the way he answers any questions on TV!!!!

    1. DCS

      You are clearly confused. The 'demented' one is the 'former guy' who still pushes the "Big Lie' that he won the last presidential election...and I suspect you believe him. Sad!

    2. UA-NYC

      Dee stop getting all your news from Tucker C

    3. David

      Fine let Covid do it’s thing. The unvaccinated Trumpist Republicans who don’t believe in this thing can all get Covid and we will soon be rid of them all !

  26. Mike

    I agree time to “officially” open up the borders. After all, thousands of people are coming across the Mexican border every day and the government is doing nothing to stop them. And from what is out there to read, most are coming from countries that have little if no vaccine programs in place. The most perplexing closure still in effect is Canada. Even though “essential” people can travel back and forth. We have many Canadian...

    I agree time to “officially” open up the borders. After all, thousands of people are coming across the Mexican border every day and the government is doing nothing to stop them. And from what is out there to read, most are coming from countries that have little if no vaccine programs in place. The most perplexing closure still in effect is Canada. Even though “essential” people can travel back and forth. We have many Canadian friends that can’t drive back and forth, but flying is doable depending on the province and their rules.

  27. Jennifer Wohlman

    Just want to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding in early August. Have been double vaccinated for weeks but, as a traveller from the UK, need the restrictions to be lifted sooner rather than later.

  28. RICHARD MACDONALD

    Sadly New Zealand is locked up to non-residents and EVERYONE has to be locked in a MIQ Hotel for 14 days, regardless whether you are vaccinated or not. We have a very controlling Prime Minister!

    1. Stu

      Impression in other parts of the world is that your prime minister has saved countless lives through her science based response to COVID-19. Is that appreciated?

  29. D3kingg

    @UA NYC

    All your comments on OMAAT are useless. COVID is over. The US Canada and EU borders will be reopen in a matter of weeks. The remaining borders will be reopen for travel worldwide in 2022.

    1. UA-NYC

      Tell that to all the ‘Murican Red Staters getting their news from Fox, OANN, and Newsmax now seeing Delta run rampant in their areas. Sorry not sorry.

  30. tassojunior

    Biden didn't say anything but Merkel did. "not a rule you have to take back soon" would to me mean a traffic light system like the EU uses.

  31. JP

    But no ban on Biden’s over one million illegal aliens that have entered this country since January bringing more diseases than just Covid. Flying and busing them into various states in the wee hours of the night and morning. Just one more joke coming out of the Biden Clown Car!

  32. Francisco

    Meanwhile, in Australia, the prospect of getting in or out remains bleak thanks to the breathtaking incompetence of Prime Minister Homer Simpson & Co :(

  33. Andy

    I just spoke to a good friend of mine who is a physician in The Netherlands.
    He said that among 20 and 30-year-olds cases are skyrocketing and these are all individuals who have not yet received the vaccine. Unfortunately about three weeks ago the Netherlands announced that people could get a shot of the Jansen vaccine… and then all of the clubs and festivals reopened. Unfortunately they forgot to say that everyone who is...

    I just spoke to a good friend of mine who is a physician in The Netherlands.
    He said that among 20 and 30-year-olds cases are skyrocketing and these are all individuals who have not yet received the vaccine. Unfortunately about three weeks ago the Netherlands announced that people could get a shot of the Jansen vaccine… and then all of the clubs and festivals reopened. Unfortunately they forgot to say that everyone who is vaccinated must still wait two weeks for full immunity. The result is 10,000 new infections discovered every day for the past week. Interestingly the Netherlands has not changed it’s entry and exit requirements for travelers or its citizens. As of this morning July 17 the country is in the red zone. However Spain and Italy and south of France who are desperately trying to shore up their economy after a year of financial losses are still allowing Dutch citizens to come on holiday. Euros talk !
    As a vaccinated American I feel comfortable traveling to Europe however I do not want to buy them at ministration to open up the borders and then three weeks later close the borders again. I do believe a conservative view on border reopening is needed.
    Now it’s the delta variant and it seems to hitting the unvaccinated the hardest. Hospitals in Southern California are filling up with cases from unvaccinated mostly 20-40 year olds. Oh and there are no restrictions in place at all the tourist sites in Southern California.
    Lastly Japan is seeing skyrocketing infections daily and there is NO travel ban on incoming Japanese travelers…
    Hmm…

  34. NYGuy24

    "Personally I think it’s time to open up borders. All adults in the United States have had access to the vaccine for well over two months now." Except for the fact that children under 12 don't have a vaccine with a variant that is putting more kids in the hospital than any of the previous variants. Not to mention the kids who suffer long term covid. Doesn't make sense to throw open the borders as...

    "Personally I think it’s time to open up borders. All adults in the United States have had access to the vaccine for well over two months now." Except for the fact that children under 12 don't have a vaccine with a variant that is putting more kids in the hospital than any of the previous variants. Not to mention the kids who suffer long term covid. Doesn't make sense to throw open the borders as variant cases are surging in europe especially when you never know a new variant that evades vaccines could come out.

    1. Florian

      You do realize that Delta is already in the US?

  35. Richard

    Interesting posts and agree we must get back to UK - USA travel for families and business and with safe Vaccine role out time to move - prob after Lab day I hear bet on Oct 1st ....

  36. Seattle Todd

    I agree completely with everyone who's chimed in before. I'm all for freedom in this country, but not in matters of public health and safety, and when it negatively affects the lives of others who have made their personal decisions based on science. I have no more patience for my life being negatively impacted any longer by people who refuse to do what they need to do to keep themselves and others safe. If that's...

    I agree completely with everyone who's chimed in before. I'm all for freedom in this country, but not in matters of public health and safety, and when it negatively affects the lives of others who have made their personal decisions based on science. I have no more patience for my life being negatively impacted any longer by people who refuse to do what they need to do to keep themselves and others safe. If that's what they want, then implement policies that appropriately restrict their activities and let the rest of us get back to living. This is completely different from other social services programs for those less fortunate, which I also support 100%.

  37. Manny

    I personally think he would remove the travel ban. Biden wants to show he is the boss, he understands that it’s time to open, but can’t open after the Eu starting letting in us citizens. It’s not a game that Europe open up so the us needs to open. So Biden is trying to wait a bit, and after pretend as he is speaking to doctors, and after he could open up, and show he is the boss.

    1. Florian

      Sounds like a very mature approach. ;)

  38. MilesFromBlighty

    Apparently the distributed record keeping in each state is causing the UK problems. Some are not even stored electronically. I think this is a big deal for the UK and don't expect any changes soon.

  39. David Carr

    Meanwhile, the Americans closest ally (and neighbor) with the longest shared border in the world, is shut out. The border is open (effective August 9th) for Americans (fully vaccinated) to cross into Canada but the border is closed for Canadians to enter the US, with no apparent timeline for opening. Thanks neighbor, let us know the next time you need an emergency place to land over 100 enroute wide body jets with no place to...

    Meanwhile, the Americans closest ally (and neighbor) with the longest shared border in the world, is shut out. The border is open (effective August 9th) for Americans (fully vaccinated) to cross into Canada but the border is closed for Canadians to enter the US, with no apparent timeline for opening. Thanks neighbor, let us know the next time you need an emergency place to land over 100 enroute wide body jets with no place to go untill they run out of fuel. Remember Gander, that airport that took in thousands of travelers on 9/11

Featured Comments Load all 85 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Dick Bupkiss

It's not complicated. 1) Complete the full, formal approval (not just emergency authorization) for the vaccines we know work well. 2) Require full vaccination (with approved vaccines) for all travel, and pretty much everything else in modern life where it's legally possible. 3) Develop and deploy a national digital vaccine pass as the EU has done (if the EU, UK, France, New York and California can do it, the USA ought to be able to manage the task). Paper equivalents available for those medically exempt or technologically unable. It's <i>INFRASTRUCTURE</i> baby, can't we find some money for that? 4) You want to do anything or go anywhere? <i>Show your pass, no excuses.</i> Only exceptions should be actual, real medical exemptions (no emotional support animals), period, no exceptions, hard line. 4) Apply the same rules to international visitors who want to come here, and expect reciprocity. <i>Testing, schmesting, it's not a substitute for vaccination and gives everyone a false sense of security.</i> No vaxx, no travel, no nonsense, no drama. Only the medically exempt can travel without full vaccination, and they need PCR test before flight and every 6 days while away from home. Continue to incentivize everyone to get vaccinated, and penalize and restrict those who refuse. And stop apologizing for doing that. Maybe it's time to require proof of vaccination to vote -- that would solve a lot of our problems right there. Take the heat from all the anti-vaxx morons (they act out anyway, so stop trying to placate them -- see January 6), and lets move on. It's the only way to get "back to normal."

Donna

Are we vaccinated Americans expected to wait forever for the hesitant and anti vaccine crowd to get onboard? Between the unvaccinated and the delta variant we are on the verge of another wave. It’s time to play hardball. I am all-in for vaccine passports for access to countries, venues and all air travel. Domestic as well. No vaccine then no access to sporting events, bars, commercial airliners, etc. If people don’t want the vaccine then fine, but they don’t have the right to turn the country back to where it was last year and ruin it for the rest of us, especially the vulnerable who are either too young or health compromised to get vaccinated by placing their lives at risk. I’m fortunate to live in California where I have been issued what is essentially a vaccine passport, a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record with a QR code that does not expire. I’ve used it in the EU last month. My Covid testing requirements have been cut by over 50%. It’s time to open the borders to vaccinated people.

Tiffany

Just FWIW for those calling out the problems with the CDC cards -- those were never intended to be either secure or formal proof of vaccine status. They were designed for efficient vaccination (the worst thing in February would have been to have vaccines available and be out of "paperwork"), and thus intentionally lack any/all security features. HOWEVER, every single vaccine administered in the United States, Covid or otherwise, is entered into a state and/or tribal database. With states like Florida that weren't necessarily stringently verifying IDs at mass clinics this isn't perfect, but the data exists, and is already available for all 2600+ public health districts, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, insurance companies, etc. Like if you can't remember when you got your last tetanus vaccine, but do remember the state you got it in, that can be tracked down. Creating a consumer-facing tool is always a bit tricky, and we likely lack the political will to do this properly, but the data is <em>technically and potentially</em> available.

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