United States Ends Travel Bans, Requires Vaccination (Starts November 8)

United States Ends Travel Bans, Requires Vaccination (Starts November 8)

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Several weeks ago the Biden administration revealed that the United States will finally be ending its nonsensical travel bans, instead replacing them with a new vaccination requirement for foreign visitors. Furthermore, unvaccinated Americans who are traveling internationally will be required to undergo more testing.

There were a lot of questions remaining regarding the United States’ policy, including when exactly the new rules would be put into place. We now know that the new policy will kick in as of November 8, 2021, so let’s go over all of the details, including which vaccines the United States will accept.

United States will end blanket travel bans

As of November 8, 2021, the United States’ current travel bans will be coming to an end, as they’ll instead be replaced by a system that requires visitors to be vaccinated.

For context, dating back as far as the spring of 2020, 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 BrazilChinaIndiathe Schengen ZoneSouth Africa, and the United Kingdom, among other countries. These blanket bans will be no more starting in a few weeks.

Vaccinated travelers will be allowed in the United States

United States will require visitors to be vaccinated

Replacing the current travel bans, the United States will instead require visitors to be vaccinated. The policy will kick in as of November 8, 2021. As before, all travelers will need to provide a negative coronavirus test result, taken within three days of travel to the United States. There will be no need to quarantine on arrival.

It’s expected that children will be exempt from this policy, but it’s not known yet what the cutoff age is for that, and if children will just need a standard coronavirus test, or what.

Visitors to the United States will have to be vaccinated

Which vaccines will the United States accept?

For the purposes of entry into the country, the United States will recognize any vaccines authorized by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). That includes the following vaccines:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Ultimately I’d say this is good news, because it could have been a lot worse if the United States only accepted FDA approved vaccines, and not WHO approved ones. However, it is worth acknowledging that this will shut out some people, including those who had Russia’s Sputnik vaccine, as well as those who had India’s Covaxin vaccine.

The United States is excluding certain vaccines

Unvaccinated Americans will have to double test

There are also some changes with travel rules for unvaccinated Americans. Currently Americans can always enter the United States as long as they get a coronavirus test within three days of return travel to the country. That will be changing. Unvaccinated Americans:

  • Will need to test within a day of returning to the United States, rather than within three days
  • Will need to test again after returning to the United States

The exact details of these new requirements remain to be seen, especially surrounding the testing on arrival. Presumably this wouldn’t happen at the airport, but rather people would have some amount of time to get tested on their own (whether or not that’s using the honor system remains to be seen).

This creates a big incentive for international travelers from the United States to get vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Americans will need to double test for travel

This should have happened a long time ago

Frankly I’ve been disappointed by President Biden’s lack of actions on these travel bans, as this policy will be implemented just under 10 months after he took office. Biden always promised he’d “follow the science,” and there’s simply no denying that these outdated travel bans that do nothing to account for actual risk haven’t in any way followed the science.

The restrictions haven’t been based on the epidemiological situation in a country, but rather have been based on identifying places that had a bad outbreak at one point, but then the bans were never revisited.

Determining eligibility to enter the United States based on vaccination status makes a lot more sense. Being vaccinated significantly reduces your risk of hospitalization and death, and it’s also believed to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus. Wanting people to be vaccinated makes a lot more sense than a blanket ban based on where someone is coming from.

I think it’s also important to recognize that travel bans go way beyond tourism. You have all kinds of important things that have been lost due to these bans — you have people in long distance relationships, babies have been born, people have died, etc.

Travel bans should have been eliminated a long time ago

Bottom line

The United States is changing its travel restrictions, eliminating the current blanket travel bans that are in place. Instead, the United States will welcome vaccinated travelers from around the world as of November 8, 2021. The United States will recognize any FDA or WHO approved vaccines for these purposes. Furthermore, unvaccinated Americans will need to double test when returning to the United States, including getting a test within a day of travel.

It’s fantastic to see these travel bans finally ending. This is oh-so-overdue.

What do you make of the US eliminating its current travel bans?

Conversations (175)
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  1. echino

    Will Aeroflot end its US flights? Or at least severely reduce them? I cannot see how Aeroflot can possibly sustain its current flights to the US with Sputnik V not being accepted.

  2. Gabe

    So to be clear, one will still need to get tested before flying back to the U.S. even if one is vaccinated? If so, the regulation is still a joke. If going to test for Covid19, how about requiring tests for other coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, influenza, strep, yellow fever, measles, etc? The world is full of diseases, so we need to stop acting like we want to live in a sterile environment. Also, it is ridiculous...

    So to be clear, one will still need to get tested before flying back to the U.S. even if one is vaccinated? If so, the regulation is still a joke. If going to test for Covid19, how about requiring tests for other coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, influenza, strep, yellow fever, measles, etc? The world is full of diseases, so we need to stop acting like we want to live in a sterile environment. Also, it is ridiculous to assume that someone that may test negative three days before may not be contagious, let alone have another communicable disease.

  3. Jeffrey I Chang

    What I do not understand is why we are not mandating stricter limitations based on when a person was masked given that by six months protection against infection declines to 47%.

    1. Florian

      To protect whom? The unvaccinated?

  4. Nick

    Vaccinated Americans (not visitors to America) returning home…still required to test within 72 hours?

    1. Nick

      Sorry just saw all travelers…why would I think the govt would make rules that made sense?!

    2. Kyle

      Because vaccinated travellers can still carry the virus but go on…?

  5. JJ

    I still don't understand the point of vaccinated US Citizens being required to test within 3 days of returning home.

    1. Kyle

      Because vaccinated people can still carry the virus most likely?

    2. Florian

      And how has testing prevented that so far?

    3. Kyle

      I’m sure it’s stopped people from coming in with COVID…? Do you really think the spread of COVID now is caused by international travelling and lack of testing to come into the states?

      How do you even think COVID spread to other places..? Through travelling…? But go off lol….

  6. Ed

    Title should have been: "United State Ends Travel Ban, Requires Vaccinated AND Testing".
    In short, nothing changed for Americans returning. Sure, Europeans and others can now visit, but I doubt they want to go through the cost of getting ESTA approval AND getting tested.
    Cheaper to stay in Europe with no testing and no visa requirements.

    1. Florian

      ESTA is what, 14 USD? The test is cumbersome, admittedly. However for us Europeans the worst that can happen is you have to cancel if trip if the test comes back positive, an American would be stuck here for up to two weeks instead. So more of a deterrent for Americans to come to Europe than for Europeans to go to the US, in my humble opinion.

  7. Chris

    I primarily see this as another way to replace a black-and-white solution to a complex question with another black-and-white solution. But, that's US for ya :)

  8. sxc7885

    I am curious how this testing after arrival will work for unvaccinated. I wonder if it will be a mix of the honor system that you actually go and get it and something similar to the UK 2nd day test where you have to show proof of a purchased/scheduled test within so many days after arrival before you can board the departure airport.

  9. NYGuy24

    Meanwhile there was a lab in the UK where it was just announced that they told over 40,000 people that they did not have covid when it turns out they did, but sure let's have a testing requirement.

  10. Cedric Pinsonnault

    Canada just has to drop the silly test on the way back from vacinated people...until then I don't think many people will make day trips. Day trips are huge part of the traffic.

  11. Lynn wright

    When will we be told from which date in November?

  12. Jill

    So many comments congratulations

  13. Dr. Dj

    It does call my attention that US embassies are rescheduelling VISA requirements and/or renovations already to 2023 ! It`s hard to understand why they are still close in first place.

    1. Eskimo

      Google Translate fail!!!!!

      No requirements, you never need a vee-eye-es-aey (all caps normally mean the credit card, not the document) to enter an us embassy.
      Unless you are a kon-trak-ter, renovating the Embassy is probably none of your business.

  14. Towelie196

    The most highly vaccinated locations have the highest volume of testing. Iceland is a perfect example, testing has increased dramatically since they require them to enter the country. Your logic is saying that someone who is unvaccinated and ends up sick for weeks will spread Covid just as much as an asymptomatic vaccinated person who tests positive for a few days?

    Also, who cares if you still end up with Covid while vaccinated or...

    The most highly vaccinated locations have the highest volume of testing. Iceland is a perfect example, testing has increased dramatically since they require them to enter the country. Your logic is saying that someone who is unvaccinated and ends up sick for weeks will spread Covid just as much as an asymptomatic vaccinated person who tests positive for a few days?

    Also, who cares if you still end up with Covid while vaccinated or transmit it while vaccinated, that will only impact the unvaccinated since they are the ones who will likely die. If you are vaccinated you will have a far greater chance of survival. Hence the reason for the vaccine requirements. No tourists clogging up your hospitals, prevent responsible vaccinated citizens from receiving urgent care.

    1. Honkbert

      Funny that you mention Iceland, with the chief epidemiologist there being in complete disagreement with your claims:

      "What has happened in the past two to three weeks is that the Delta variant has taken over all other variants in Iceland. And it has come to light that vaccinated individuals can contract it relatively easily and spread infection. Sequencing has shown us that the origin of most domestic infections can be traced to group events such...

      Funny that you mention Iceland, with the chief epidemiologist there being in complete disagreement with your claims:

      "What has happened in the past two to three weeks is that the Delta variant has taken over all other variants in Iceland. And it has come to light that vaccinated individuals can contract it relatively easily and spread infection. Sequencing has shown us that the origin of most domestic infections can be traced to group events such as clubbing in downtown Reykjavík or group trips abroad."

      How long is someone with COVID contagious? Let's ask the CDC: "the statistically estimated likelihood of recovering replication-competent virus approaches zero by 10 days or more than three days after recovery.” So it's pretty safe to say that after nine days you are no longer contagious. A vaccinated person clears the virus a bit faster. Since >99% of virus is found within a period of a couple of days during which there is no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people in viral load (Singapore study: greater viral load in vaccinated people, but unlikely to be significant). No, I don't think that vaccinated and unvaccinated people contribute equally to transmission. Most likely, it is vaccinated people who contribute more. They are less likely to become symptomatic, so they are less likely to show "sickness behaviour" (stay in bed) and they are less likely to be avoided by others due to their lack of symptoms (no disgust response). In other words: vaccination messes with our behavioural immune system on both sides of the equation. Since test requirements generally only apply to unvaccinated people, someone who is vaccinated is also less likely to be identified by a test. Also worth considering: a vaccinated person can still catch COVID. This chance is much higher than the chance of someone who has recovered from COVID to get reinfected, posing much less of a risk to others. Science Magazine: "the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was 27 times higher among the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization eight times higher."

      I find it a bit silly to still pretend that vaccination reduces transmission, when even the CDC director said back in July: "Today, some of those data were published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), demonstrating that Delta infection resulted in similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus." Holding on to this lie any longer is likely to damage trust in all vaccines, in the long term.

      On September 25, 2021 (most current date on Our World in Data), Iceland performs 4.15 test/1,000 inhabitants with 94.86/million testing positive. On September 25, 2020, these numbers were 7.42/1,000 and 137.72/million. So your claim that incidence remaining high is sufficiently explained by more testing isn't supported by the numbers. If that were the case, the present rate would have to be even lower.

      I thought we were discussing whether vaccines prevent transmission, not risk of death, but OK, let's switch the subject. My risk of catching and dying from COVID in the next 90 days is 0.0038% according to the University of Oxford's risk assessment tool QCOVID. What you label as "likely", I label as "unlikely". For me, "likely" is a >50% chance but when it comes to the risk of dying, I would obviously try to avoid events that are very unlikely. After all, even in Russian Roulette, the odds are very much in your favour and I wouldn't want to play. People differ in what risks they are willing to accept. Maybe if I were much older, morbidly obese or suffering from other conditions. I won't deny that vaccination reduces your risk of dying from COVID (although it didn't reduce overall mortality in the follow-up to the Pfizer trial). At the same time, I find it silly to deny that this risk is extremely stratified by age and co-morbidities.

      In Germany, in the age group 40-49, there are presently 213 people with COVID in intensive care. That constitutes less than 1% of ICU occupancy. Even if they were all unvaccinated, I fail to see how exactly they would be "clogging up" hospitals.

      If your personal risk assessment determines that vaccination is the best path, that's what you should do. I don't think it is justified to become all self-congratulatory and equate vaccination with being responsible (it would be different with the measles vaccine, though). First and foremost, vaccination against COVID is in your own interest (nothing wrong with that). Given that you can still transmit but are less likely to protect others by being tested and less likely to develop symptoms, protection by getting tested would be much more effective. After all, testing prevents transmission and vaccination doesn't.

  15. Gary

    Good article. I enjoyed reading it.

    My take is that the root cause the reluctance to let foreigns visit the US is America's traditional isolationism and its long-term habit of "following the political science" rather than just the science.

  16. Speedbird

    I still dont understand why they are still requiring negative covid tests for vaccinated Americans returning to the US. Some countries are milking these tests at $150 each and banning rapid at home tests because they were losing out on their own overpriced covid tests.

    1. Honkbert

      Probably because they want to curb transmission without openly acknowledging that vaccination is a far less effective means of reducing transmission than natural immunity and rapid tests.

  17. AGrumpyOldMan_GA

    Don’t kid yourself. The Biden administration has little intention of following science. As Ben Shapiro has brilliantly outlined in his recent book The Authoritarian Moment, the left adheres to politicized “science,” which he deems The Science (TM). I think the vaccination require for international visitors is wise, but there are many wise steps that could have been taken by various politicians over the last 18 months that weren’t.

  18. flyinryan

    "Biden Administration" and "disappointed" are two things that seem to go hand-in-hand lately

  19. AJ23

    Meanwhile in the Democratic People’s Republic of Koalastan, you are banned from returning home to Brisbane if you are in Sydney. And everyone is banned from WA by Supreme Leader McGowan.

  20. Jake212

    @Never In Doubt

    Trolling?

    Or an idiot? (Since every person traveling to the US requires a negative Covid test 72-hours before arrival and the illegals coming across the southern border are allowed entry with NO test).

    Hard to tell.

  21. D3kingg

    I wanna go back to China without this 14 day quarantine nonsense. I have girls over there. Betting American will only serve Shanghai 2X weekly and the flights will be packed.

  22. Donna

    As someone who actually has traveled internationally regularly for business throughout the pandemic starting in June 2020 until my trip that departs tomorrow for Rome, I can tell you that this is excellent news, at least from my vantage point. First, to be clear, yesterday, I have taken my umpteenth PCR test ($125) now required to enter Italy since new restrictions went into effect recently, which from all accounts are the result of Biden’s lack...

    As someone who actually has traveled internationally regularly for business throughout the pandemic starting in June 2020 until my trip that departs tomorrow for Rome, I can tell you that this is excellent news, at least from my vantage point. First, to be clear, yesterday, I have taken my umpteenth PCR test ($125) now required to enter Italy since new restrictions went into effect recently, which from all accounts are the result of Biden’s lack of reciprocity with respect to allowing EU vaccinated travelers in, while allowing Americans to enter with just proof of vaccine status in many countries. I also have to test coming back like everyone else. Fully vaccinated BTW. There is always stress and expense and time wasted associated with getting the results back in time, loading up QR codes and the biggest worry is a false positive not to mention genuine positive. So, to paint the US unvaccinated as victims is outrageous. Vaccinated Patriotic Americans are paying the price for the current pandemic of the unvaccinated in the USA. This should have been over months ago. The righteous anger of the 75% of vaccinated American adults cannot be understated.

  23. Alan

    This seems like nothing more than a means to get more Americans vaccinated since they will require two tests.
    This policy is completely nonsensical since even a vaccinated person can still spread the disease. They should be doubly tested as well if the point is to prevent spread.
    Rachel Maddow proclaimed six months ago that the vaccine would prevent you from getting covid and passing it on. Now that we know this false,...

    This seems like nothing more than a means to get more Americans vaccinated since they will require two tests.
    This policy is completely nonsensical since even a vaccinated person can still spread the disease. They should be doubly tested as well if the point is to prevent spread.
    Rachel Maddow proclaimed six months ago that the vaccine would prevent you from getting covid and passing it on. Now that we know this false, why are we concerned about someone's vaccination status? And those with natural immunity, now proven to be better than that obtained via vaccines are excluded unless they get vaccinated. NONE OF THIS BASED ON SCIENCE.

    1. snic

      Vaccines do reduce the likelihood that you will transmit the disease. Vaccinated individuals are less likely to be infected than unvaccinated individuals at any given time. If you aren't infected, you can't transmit the disease. Furthermore, even if a vaccinated person gets infected, their viral load tends to be lower and symptoms are less severe. The likelihood of transmission to someone else is lower under those conditions.

      So, while you are correct that "even a...

      Vaccines do reduce the likelihood that you will transmit the disease. Vaccinated individuals are less likely to be infected than unvaccinated individuals at any given time. If you aren't infected, you can't transmit the disease. Furthermore, even if a vaccinated person gets infected, their viral load tends to be lower and symptoms are less severe. The likelihood of transmission to someone else is lower under those conditions.

      So, while you are correct that "even a vaccinated person can still spread the disease", their lower risk of spreading the disease justifies a lower degree of testing vigilance.

    2. NYGuy24

      Except that vaccines are known to drastically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, they reduce the length of the infection and vaccinated people are indeed less likely to be infected than unvaccinated people and if they do get infected they do not spread covid as easily as unvaccinated people. Thanks for playing.

  24. Moisheh

    What is happening with land borders

  25. S_LEE

    It's still unclear if those who got mixed combination of vaccines will be able to enter the United States. In some countries like South Korea, UK and Canada, some people got Astrazeneca/Oxford as the 1st shot and Pfizer/Moderna as the 2nd shot. It is an approved method in those countries and researches have proven that it greatly improves the efficacy.

  26. Ben

    I agree that the ban ending has been a long time coming. But vaccine inequality is a big issue here. This change in policy effectively bans any non-citizen who wants to get vaccinated but has been unable to do so due to lack of vaccines. The US and other countries with large (including expiring!) stockpiles need to give them away or sell them at cost to countries that cannot afford them. Also, relax the IP,...

    I agree that the ban ending has been a long time coming. But vaccine inequality is a big issue here. This change in policy effectively bans any non-citizen who wants to get vaccinated but has been unable to do so due to lack of vaccines. The US and other countries with large (including expiring!) stockpiles need to give them away or sell them at cost to countries that cannot afford them. Also, relax the IP, manufacturing, and other rules and restrictions that keep countries from accessing and manufacturing vaccines. Folks will cry foul but the new variants emerge in places where large numbers of folks are unvaccinated. So if we want to be safe and protected then we need to help get the whole world vaccinated. Oh and Moderna got US$2.5 Billion from US government entities (i.e. our taxpayer dollars or debt) to develop their vaccine so they can certainly afford to sell doses at cost.

  27. Mark S.

    I believe the Administration still has not provided concrete dates as of 9/29/21. Does anyone know otherwise?

  28. Doug

    So we will now be in a situation where every passenger on the inbound international aircraft is vaccinated AND has a negative covid test, yet we will still be subjected an insane and unscientific mask mandate. Such nonsense.

    1. Luke

      I agree but guess it can be argued there will still be unvaccinated kids under 12 on the plane to protect.

    2. Dick Bupkiss

      No. Trumpist morons will still be on the plane with you, alongside all the rational people who have been vaccinated. That's a valid reason to keep the in-flight mask mandate in place. For the same reason, we will be stuck wearing masks forever.

    3. David

      Please stop with the insulting, juvenile comments. Just because someone didn't support the same candidate that you did, does not make them morons, racists or bad people.

      Obviously you have no logical or coherent arguments to justify why you voted the way you did, so you have to resort to name calling.

      Oh yes - I know Biden voters who didn't get the vaccine either.

  29. Jeffrey I Chang

    Why are we allowing persons with less effective vaccines into this county?
    Sinopharm
    Sinovac

    1. Eskimo

      So after racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and so many discrimination.
      And the fight for equality, my body my right, etc.

      USA have reached the point of vaccine discrimination.

      MAGA!!!!!

    2. Jumpseatflyer

      The Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are actually not so bad. Real world studies have shown that they are relatively effective. In addition, the AZ vaccine is also not the most effective, but all of them reduce the risk of ending up in intensive care drastically.

      Furthermore, if we want to finally come back to a world with freedom of movement and open borders, we cannot discriminate based on vaccine status. And... as bad as the...

      The Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are actually not so bad. Real world studies have shown that they are relatively effective. In addition, the AZ vaccine is also not the most effective, but all of them reduce the risk of ending up in intensive care drastically.

      Furthermore, if we want to finally come back to a world with freedom of movement and open borders, we cannot discriminate based on vaccine status. And... as bad as the relationship between the US and China is right now, locking each other out is definitely not the way to improve mutual understanding and foster economic ties.

    3. Jeffrey I Chang

      "The Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are actually not so bad. Real world studies have shown that they are relatively effective."

      Are they as effective our mRNA vaccines? Recent studies have indicated that natural immunity is about as effective as the mRNA vaccine. Now if we are going to force mRNA persons to get vaccinated than we should have a baseline of immunity that is acceptable. I don't see how its logical to allow persons...

      "The Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are actually not so bad. Real world studies have shown that they are relatively effective."

      Are they as effective our mRNA vaccines? Recent studies have indicated that natural immunity is about as effective as the mRNA vaccine. Now if we are going to force mRNA persons to get vaccinated than we should have a baseline of immunity that is acceptable. I don't see how its logical to allow persons that POSSIBLY have lower baseline immunity into this country.

    4. Eskimo

      "Are they as effective our mRNA vaccines?"

      By "Our", you mean BioNTech which is German?
      Or Pfizer which is founded a German immigrant?
      Or Moderna whose founder is Canadian?
      The type of vaccine doesn't need to be possessive unless you are the center of it.

      "I don't see how its logical to allow persons that POSSIBLY have lower baseline immunity into this country."
      So those people becomes inferior to you? I...

      "Are they as effective our mRNA vaccines?"

      By "Our", you mean BioNTech which is German?
      Or Pfizer which is founded a German immigrant?
      Or Moderna whose founder is Canadian?
      The type of vaccine doesn't need to be possessive unless you are the center of it.

      "I don't see how its logical to allow persons that POSSIBLY have lower baseline immunity into this country."
      So those people becomes inferior to you? I guess racism and slavery has taught you nothing.

      Once again some racist thinks the center of the universe is themselves.

    5. Jim

      The Sinopharm vaccine has about the same effectiveness as the AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson vaccines (70s%).

      In addition, comparing these numbers is complicated. All of the trials were conducted in different regions at different stages of outbreaks (e.g. variant) on different populations so the numbers are not directly comparable.

    6. NYGuy24

      Probably because some countries don't have access to the other vaccines. Still if it isn't an effective vaccine with variants they really shouldn't accept it.

  30. Alonzo

    Yeah! There's no way covid can enter the US now! Covid has been blocked like an IG troll.

  31. Jason

    A lot of people have mixed vaccinations, including Canada's prime minister. This could deny millions of additional people entry to the US.

  32. travelqart11

    Have been using Travelqart for the past 6 years. Their representatives are well trained and well behaved. They never fail to solve a problem even if it takes many hours. That is passion. As a chef, I want to be trusted and dependable and that is what the representatives of Travelqart provide.

  33. yepnope

    remove testing requirements for the vaccinated. ban all unvaccinated. keep it simple thanks.

  34. Soggy Dollar

    I was hoping for the elimination of the testing requirement for the fully vaccinated. The testing requirement effectively makes it almost impossible to freely travel for day trips or short overnight trips from a US territory to a foreign country or territory. Think of those near borders of Canada or Mexico, or in the USVI, where travel back and forth to a foreign country or territory is very common and not only vital to economic...

    I was hoping for the elimination of the testing requirement for the fully vaccinated. The testing requirement effectively makes it almost impossible to freely travel for day trips or short overnight trips from a US territory to a foreign country or territory. Think of those near borders of Canada or Mexico, or in the USVI, where travel back and forth to a foreign country or territory is very common and not only vital to economic well-being of those that live in those areas, but also generates significant tourism. The testing requirement continues to hinder the return of much of this type of travel.

    1. Luke

      You can take the test within the US before leaving if are returning within 72 hours. I did exactly this yesterday flew to Paris to just spend 6 hours there to buy Louis Vuitton!

    2. Alan

      There is a reason why you still need the test. The vaccines do not prevent infection.

  35. BSB

    If you’re disappointed in Biden, try living in Australia. It’s illegal for our own citizens to leave the country. There’s always someone who’s got it worse.

    1. Pat

      Hardly a dissappointment for Australians and would not say worse than America for sure.
      Maybe dissappoiting for those who are outside trying to get in. As inconvenient as it may be to leave, we benefited with very low death rates (onky a little over 1000 since start of covid).

    2. Jake212

      @Pat

      Australian citizens are being beaten in the streets of Melbourne by the cops because they’re so fed up with how Australia has handled Covid. But okay - keep pushing your absolute nonsense that “you’ve benefited.” Give me a break.

      How many multi-week total lockdowns has Australia been through now?

  36. efembe

    I had to defer my trip to the States last November, and in March this year hopefully replanned it for 30th October.....am I going to miss it by 1 day where the air fares have now rocketed?

  37. Darren C

    So, I will still be required to buy an unverifiable (fake) negative Covid test in a foreign country to return to the US, even though I have received both Pfizer jabs? This is insane!

    The US should allow US citizens with proof of full vaccination to skip the fake tests. Tests do not reduce the acquisition, transmission, or severity of Covid but vaccines do.

    Foreign countries sell guaranteed Negative Covid tests to anyone who...

    So, I will still be required to buy an unverifiable (fake) negative Covid test in a foreign country to return to the US, even though I have received both Pfizer jabs? This is insane!

    The US should allow US citizens with proof of full vaccination to skip the fake tests. Tests do not reduce the acquisition, transmission, or severity of Covid but vaccines do.

    Foreign countries sell guaranteed Negative Covid tests to anyone who wants to buy them. The US has no interest in or way to verify the accuracy of these useless tests.

    1. E.

      The industrial testing complex is going nowhere. Way too much money in it, our politicians' buddies making bank!

  38. Alan

    Nonsensical travel bans to be replaced by requiring non sterilizing vaccines. What the $#&$ is going on? The vaccines do not prevent infection so what difference does it make if one is vaccinated. And natural immunity which studies have shown is much better is not an even an option. The government needs some real scientists to make policies

    1. Never In Doubt

      Alan, this is to f*ck with the unvaccinated morons.

      Which I endorse!

    2. A real scientist

      The vaccines do prevent infections. They don't prevent ALL infections. Vaccines significantly reduce transmission. They don't eliminate it. And the travel bans aren't being replaced by a vaccine requirement....they are being replaced by a testing requirement supported by vaccine requirements.

      Natural immunity should be considered - but the "best" protection is natural immunity + vaccination. So yeah, vaccine certainly do make a difference.

    3. Jeffrey I Chang

      "Natural immunity should be considered - but the "best" protection is natural immunity + vaccination. So yeah, vaccine certainly do make a difference."

      If natural immunity + vax is considered the gold standard, would it be a good idea to mandate continuous injections until a person reaches the antibody level of a natural immunity + double vaxxed person?

    4. Honkbert

      Why then don't states/countries with the highest vaccination rates have the lowest rates of transmission?

      Why then do states/countries with the highest vaccination rates actually often have the highest incidences?

      These facts seem completely incompatible with your claim that vaccinations "significantly reduce transmission". Conversely, the observation of high rates of transmission in highly vaccinated populations is supported by a recent preprint from Cornell out of Qatar which finds that "effectiveness was diminished ≥20...

      Why then don't states/countries with the highest vaccination rates have the lowest rates of transmission?

      Why then do states/countries with the highest vaccination rates actually often have the highest incidences?

      These facts seem completely incompatible with your claim that vaccinations "significantly reduce transmission". Conversely, the observation of high rates of transmission in highly vaccinated populations is supported by a recent preprint from Cornell out of Qatar which finds that "effectiveness was diminished ≥20 weeks after the second dose."

      Real world epidemiological evidence disproves your claim of vaccines providing effective protection against infection. Also, in the preprint, despite finding 72% effectiveness 0-2 weeks after the second Pfizer dose, effectiveness against infection dropped to 0 after 20 weeks.

      So, according to the preprint, even if you consider 50% protection "effective" (a pretty low bar, if you ask me), you would need a booster shot after 14 weeks at the latest, when effectiveness drops below 50% (provided that a booster raises effectiveness again) to claim effective protection against infection. Even if the FDA and other agencies approve a booster for all age groups, this would raise the question for how long the booster remains effective against infection - and for how long, respectively.

      Other vaccines may provide longer-lasting protection against infection than Pfizer but the high rates of transmission in the UK, for instance, speak against that.

      Public health policies should be based in science, not wishful thinking and/or political interests. Unfortunately, from all I can tell, the latter seems to be the case.

      Preprint:

      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.25.21262584v1

    5. Towelie196

      So you argue that vaccines aren't effective against preventing transmission and then provide statistics indicating they are very effective for some time. In other words, if everyone just got the vaccine in the beginning we wouldn't be in this nightmare anymore. Instead, the problem now is that since so much time has passed the original group of vaccinated are no longer protected due to the numerous unvaccinated idiots that continuously allow the virus to mutate....

      So you argue that vaccines aren't effective against preventing transmission and then provide statistics indicating they are very effective for some time. In other words, if everyone just got the vaccine in the beginning we wouldn't be in this nightmare anymore. Instead, the problem now is that since so much time has passed the original group of vaccinated are no longer protected due to the numerous unvaccinated idiots that continuously allow the virus to mutate.

      Vaccines clearly work, your source clearly indicates that they do.

    6. Honkbert

      I didn't say that vaccines don't work. What I said is that vaccines aren't effective at preventing transmission.

      Can you please point me to the countries where your strategy for eradicating SARS-COV-2 with vaccines has successfully been implemented? Actually, one country would do.

      You can't? Maybe that is because for your strategy to work, a number of prerequisites would have to be fulfilled which is simply not the case.

      First of all, presently two doses...

      I didn't say that vaccines don't work. What I said is that vaccines aren't effective at preventing transmission.

      Can you please point me to the countries where your strategy for eradicating SARS-COV-2 with vaccines has successfully been implemented? Actually, one country would do.

      You can't? Maybe that is because for your strategy to work, a number of prerequisites would have to be fulfilled which is simply not the case.

      First of all, presently two doses have to be given of most vaccines. For your approach, vaccines would have to provide (close to) 100% protection from infection after the first dose. This is not the case. In fact, peak protection from infection after the first dose was 37%.

      For your strategy to work, it would have had to have been implemented globally and at the same time in December 2020. Have you considered the logistics of administering the first dose to every single person on the planet at the same time and then have everyone quarantined for three weeks until every single person on the planet receives their second dose?

      OK, let's say you would have been successful back then. This would be a remarkable achievement. In my opinion: clearly impossible, as even early mover Israel was far from having everyone vaccinated before January 2021. In fact, only 12% had received their first dose at that point. How would you have ensured the production and shipment of the entirety of vaccines to everyone on the planet?

      Let's say you had been successful and simultaneously quarantined everyone on the planet until they got to (close to) 100% protection from the second. The thing is: even during the four weeks after the second dose, peak protection is only 72%. This is not enough to stop transmission.

      So even if everyone on the planet "had done the right thing", and even if everyone had done so at the exact same time, and even if everyone had spent three weeks in quarantine simultaneously until their second dose: your strategy would not have worked.

      Sorry, but there is more. Even if the second dose provided 100% protection from infection: have you considered animal reservoirs? Surely, you must be aware that animals can get infected and pass on the virus to humans. So your simultaneous global vaccination strategy to eradicate SARS-COV-2 would have had to include all animals with potential of zoonotic transmission. This would include a lot of animals on earth. Seriously, we're talking a lot of animals.

      Sorry if I burst your bubble. Your ambition is great. You may call me a pessimist but I must admit to having some doubts as to how realistic your plan is.

      I also don't find 72% protection from infection for four weeks, followed by a rapid decay to 0 after 19 weeks "very effective". By that measure, how would you label the measles vaccine? Super-duper effective? Two doses and essentially a lifetime protection close to 100% sounds much more deserving of the label "very effective" to me. Calling both "very effective" at preventing infection seems like an extreme dilution of the meaning of these words.

    7. Honkbert

      Viruses mutate. If you wanted to prevent them from doing so, you would have to prevent infection. Since the vaccines aren't very effective at that, vaccination exerts selection pressure, i.e. a mutation that successfully escapes the vaccine will be more successful at transmission. In the unvaccinated, mutations occur in a more random fashion, thus not favouring vaccine-escaping variants.

      I agree that vaccination is beneficial for avoiding escape variants for vaccines that are very effective at...

      Viruses mutate. If you wanted to prevent them from doing so, you would have to prevent infection. Since the vaccines aren't very effective at that, vaccination exerts selection pressure, i.e. a mutation that successfully escapes the vaccine will be more successful at transmission. In the unvaccinated, mutations occur in a more random fashion, thus not favouring vaccine-escaping variants.

      I agree that vaccination is beneficial for avoiding escape variants for vaccines that are very effective at preventing transmission because, eventually, even an entirely random mutation in an unvaccinated person, however unlikely, may turn out to be capable of evading a vaccine. That's simply a question of scale.

      If there is an evolutionary benefit to particular mutations, as is the case with vaccine escape variants, this should be taken into account because, given continued high rates of transmission, over time it makes adaptation of the virus to the vaccine environment likelier.

    8. Greg

      You can't transmit what you don't catch. Vaccines are highly effective at preventing infection, so transmission by the population of vaccinated persons is far lower than by the population of unvaccinated persons. Nothing is perfect, so that's why even vaccinated people should be wearing masks.

    9. Honkbert

      No, they are not. If they were, the most highly vaccinated place s would see the least infections. Clearly, this is not the case.

      At this point, the claim that “vaccines are highly effective against infection”, despite being repeated ad nauseam, is nothing but that: a claim, unsupported by evidence and with evidence to the contrary.

    10. NYGuy24

      Really amazing how quickly anti-vaxxers are to outright lie. Vaccines are not 100% effective (because no vaccine ever is) but they do indeed prevent a large percentage of infections. For breakthrough infections they also limit the risk of hospitalization and death way above that experienced by unvaccinated people and if a vaccinated person is infected they on average recover in half the time it takes an unvaccinated person and they are also significantly less likely...

      Really amazing how quickly anti-vaxxers are to outright lie. Vaccines are not 100% effective (because no vaccine ever is) but they do indeed prevent a large percentage of infections. For breakthrough infections they also limit the risk of hospitalization and death way above that experienced by unvaccinated people and if a vaccinated person is infected they on average recover in half the time it takes an unvaccinated person and they are also significantly less likely to infect other people than an infected unvaccinated person.

    11. Calypsia

      NYguy, Can you please cite a study/data that shows vaccinated people are “significantly” less likely to infect other people? Maybe I missed that one.

    12. Calypsia

      Why isn’t anyone responding to your factual claims? I guess they can’t respond reasonably, so they just keep saying the same things over and over—vaccinated people are “smarter” and “safer.” “We don’t need to get tested.” What happened to “follow the science?” Studies now show that unvaccinated carry and transmit the virus. No one knows to what degree because how many asymptomatic vaccinated are being tested?

      What I wish is for the development of...

      Why isn’t anyone responding to your factual claims? I guess they can’t respond reasonably, so they just keep saying the same things over and over—vaccinated people are “smarter” and “safer.” “We don’t need to get tested.” What happened to “follow the science?” Studies now show that unvaccinated carry and transmit the virus. No one knows to what degree because how many asymptomatic vaccinated are being tested?

      What I wish is for the development of an even less expensive, more accessible test. Test everyone before international trips. That makes sense.

  39. Brian

    It is so sad that Lucky continues to ignore the mounting evidence showing unnecessary death and permanent injury related to the Covid jab. My father died after his second Pfizer jab, which his Dr. recommended despite him recovering from Covid. A world of travel that ignores natural immunity and embraces dangerous protocols is not one I will partake of, nor will millions of others I suspect.

    1. Alan

      There are still plenty of doctors in the US who appear to have forgotten their basic medical studies.

    2. Never In Doubt

      More room for me on the plane! Thanks!

    3. Bob

      Sorry for your loss, "Brian" but there's no such evidence. The vaccines are overwhelmingly shown to be safe and with minimal side effects.

      Anti-vaxxers out in force here. That's sad.

    4. BF

      Brian, you are saying you are more scared of a vaccine that has not proven to kill anyone than you are of a virus that his killed millions. Do you realize how crazy that sounds?

      You sound like a guy jumping out of an airplane who says "I heard from a friend that some people died when doing this because their parachute failed, so I'm not taking that risk, I'm jumping without a parachute"

      ...

      Brian, you are saying you are more scared of a vaccine that has not proven to kill anyone than you are of a virus that his killed millions. Do you realize how crazy that sounds?

      You sound like a guy jumping out of an airplane who says "I heard from a friend that some people died when doing this because their parachute failed, so I'm not taking that risk, I'm jumping without a parachute"

      -----------

      "According to the CDC, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have caused any deaths in the U.S."
      https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/sep/20/facebook-posts/no-evidence-covid-19-vaccines-causing-deaths/

    5. Jake212

      @BF

      You are an absolute moron for spewing that misinformation. Let me help you:

      “ The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed an increased number of deaths reported after a COVID-19 vaccination. Between December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 12,313 reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

      Source - https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.precisionvaccinations.com/covid-19-vaccine-related-fatalities-updated%3famp

      @BF

      You are an absolute moron for spewing that misinformation. Let me help you:

      “ The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed an increased number of deaths reported after a COVID-19 vaccination. Between December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received 12,313 reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.”

      Source - https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.precisionvaccinations.com/covid-19-vaccine-related-fatalities-updated%3famp

    6. Andy 11235

      I am sorry for your loss. All vaccinations come with the risk of injury, and yes, even death. Ultimately, COVID infection -- or even reinfection -- is far more likely to result in death. This will certainly come as little comfort to you and your family, but is ultimately the calculation we must make in the face of a pandemic. "Dangerous" is a relative term, and it is important to quantify these relative risks. Natural...

      I am sorry for your loss. All vaccinations come with the risk of injury, and yes, even death. Ultimately, COVID infection -- or even reinfection -- is far more likely to result in death. This will certainly come as little comfort to you and your family, but is ultimately the calculation we must make in the face of a pandemic. "Dangerous" is a relative term, and it is important to quantify these relative risks. Natural immunity plus vaccination is far superior protection than natural immunity alone. If you have any doubt about benefits of vaccination, I suggest you call your local hospital and ask how many of their COVID patients were vaccinated.

  40. Victoria M

    We returned from Italy, are fully vaccinated and took a Covid test within 72 hours of our departure from Milan…NO ONE asked to see actual documentation in Milan, or at JFK…..
    I was kind of shocked…..

  41. Austin

    Upon returning from Ireland about a month ago my 2 year old was required to have a negative test to enter the US so I would expect foreign nationals to have to test at 2 and above as well. It seems the US has taken a hard stance when it comes to COVID at 2 years old.

  42. gmb

    Stop talking about the "science" behind vaccines until you understand natural immunity.

    1. Chris

      "But ah gott een AMMMUUNE SISSTEMM"

      - Local neckbeard

  43. Mohsan

    I am curious if US will accept Chinese vaccines, sinopharm etc .
    In my opinion any WHO approved vaccine should be acceptable...

  44. Jake

    Any news on whether or not this is for all unvaccinated travelers or just adults? Curious to know how the new rule will impact our kids who are currently ineligible to receive the vaccine.

  45. Jordan

    This creates a big incentive for international travelers from the United States to get vaccinated.

    Sorry, but it does not.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Wasn’t intended to.

      Current unvaccinated adults are morons beyond reasoning with.

    2. UA-NYC

      With any luck, they will leave and realize it's too difficult to get back in, so they go elsewhere...anywhere that will have em.

    3. gmb

      morons are the sheep slurping up the constantly changing dictates from their establishment masters

    4. Never In Doubt

      gmb, unvaccinated moron identified.

    5. Jake212

      Never In Doubt, troll that can’t think on their own and do and believe anything their embarrassing party of liberal liars tells them identified.

  46. Todd

    Canadians have only needed a negative test to enter the US. However, if these new rules are applied across the board and one must show proof of vaccination, I wonder if those of us with mixed vaccinations will be allowed in? There is a very large percentage of 50-60 y/o Canadians with a AZ/mRNA combo.

  47. Mak

    Although these travel bans had horribly harsh consequences of preventing people from seeing their families, getting educated, earning a living, going to a loved one's wedding or funeral, etc., at least they prevented Covid from entering the USA!

    1. NYGuy24

      The irony is most of the recent deaths have been a direct result of variants and all the severe variants in the US originated outside the country.

  48. DiscoPapa

    I’m curious as to the science-based approach for moving up the testing requirements for unvaxxed Americans from 3 days to 1 day before departure. Is a test 3 days before an activity no longer relevant, or is it just air travel? Have they seen significant amount of cases from people who tested negative at 3 days, but then had covid? Does science say a test at 1 day before departure and then 24 hours later is going to be more effective?

    1. Never In Doubt

      I chalk it up entirely to “let’s make the unvaccinated morons lives more difficult”.

      Which I find amusing!

  49. Greg

    For vaccinated US citizens, this seems to just add extra restriction (since it doesn't seem like 3 day requirement is going away, and now we have to carry around that flimsy CDC card to foreign travels and hope it's not lost or damaged to show for return flight).

    How is this any better or incentive for a US citizen to get vaccinated. Might as well just do the 1 day in advance antigen 10 minute...

    For vaccinated US citizens, this seems to just add extra restriction (since it doesn't seem like 3 day requirement is going away, and now we have to carry around that flimsy CDC card to foreign travels and hope it's not lost or damaged to show for return flight).

    How is this any better or incentive for a US citizen to get vaccinated. Might as well just do the 1 day in advance antigen 10 minute test and not carry around the CDC card. The post-arrival test will obviously not be enforced we all know that.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Are you complaining about having to carry your vaccine card?

      Or are you a fool in some other way I’m unable to guess right now?

    2. Greg

      I'm complaining about having to carry a card which can easily get lost or damaged abroad, and while you're abroad it is totally irreplaceable (unlike a lost passport which a US embassy can replace).

      So yes. This new rule adds an onerous requirement on the vaccinated US citizens about always being careful about the card, making sure it's not damaged if it's raining or lost in baggage etc.

    3. Bob

      I - and countless other travelers - have carried a flimsy yellow WHO-recognized International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever and other travel-required vaccination for decades. I'd love a widely recognized international electronic vaccine record as much as anyone. But the "I have to carry a paper card" isn't as big of a deal as you want it to be.

    4. Greg

      The flimsy yellow vax card is replaceable, even if you lose it during travels it is a universally recognizable card that you can get.

      If you lose your CDC card, it can't be replaced abroad no matter what. So now you're stuck. Pictures on phones and copies don't work in satisfying documentation check requirements

    5. Never In Doubt

      Greg,

      A little piece of paper you might lose.

      Your perseverance in the face of such an onerous requirement is an inspiration to us all.

    6. Bob

      Huh? Sure the card itself might be replaceable...but the record of vaccines on it aren't. There's no electronic backup of that information that is globally recognized...so if you lose it will abroad you might be able to get a new yellow piece of paper, but it's not going to come with your immunization record...so yeah it's not just simply replaceable.

      Rather easy currently in many European countries to simply walk into a pharmacy with your...

      Huh? Sure the card itself might be replaceable...but the record of vaccines on it aren't. There's no electronic backup of that information that is globally recognized...so if you lose it will abroad you might be able to get a new yellow piece of paper, but it's not going to come with your immunization record...so yeah it's not just simply replaceable.

      Rather easy currently in many European countries to simply walk into a pharmacy with your CDC card and have them enter you in the electronic vaccine passport system / app being used, and thereby have an electronic record for travels.

      This "paper card" issue really isn't as big as you want it to be.

    7. Gil

      I make copies have taken pictures of it with my phone and I have my original CDC card laminated. I also keep my original at home when not traveling to minimize loss.

    8. BF

      Greg are you really saying it is less hassle to get covid tested every time you fly than it is to carry a small piece of paper with you? I get that the paper card is small and flimsy but still...wtf lol

    9. Jake212

      @Never In Doubt

      Do you post anything of value or is your only purpose in life to hide behind a keyboard and attack anyone who questions what the MSM or delusional Biden tells you?

      Or are you a fool in some other way I’m unable to guess right now?

    10. UA-NYC

      Go back to Parler, you'll be happier there

  50. derek

    This is why universal health care is potentially dangerous. It could be managed politically and not logically.

  51. JC

    Shouldn't they require testing for all travelers regardless of vaccination status. Reduced risk does not mean no risk, especially with vaccine resistant strains popping up.

    1. Never In Doubt

      There is already a testing requirement for anyone entering the US by air.

      Have you not been paying attention?

    2. Chris

      I'm military and do not need to test as one of the exempted travelers. Been traveling from Germany and USA entire time with 0 tests. You're an idiot if you think the rules make sense and are based on "science"

  52. Santastico

    The only science Grandpa J follows is politics.

  53. miamiorbust

    Does this apply to Chinese passport holders? Policy for unvaccinated Americans is comical. For Americans that don't take the tests, will they be deported? Looks like NY's laughable quarantine requirements, which are actually still on the books for international arrivals at JFK. NY Sheriff comes up on caller ID, send to voice. They call three times and then just stop. Verifying a follow up test result, good luck. It's in the mail. You'll get it...

    Does this apply to Chinese passport holders? Policy for unvaccinated Americans is comical. For Americans that don't take the tests, will they be deported? Looks like NY's laughable quarantine requirements, which are actually still on the books for international arrivals at JFK. NY Sheriff comes up on caller ID, send to voice. They call three times and then just stop. Verifying a follow up test result, good luck. It's in the mail. You'll get it by July 4th. And for our friends from Europe, you thought the lines at US immigration were long before? Welcome to America! I actually find the new policy downright racist. Access to vaccination is nowhere near universal and correlates with skin color for majority of a countries population. If vaccination is the only standard, Team Biden just banned 95% of Africans while providing access to 70-85% of Europeans and effectively 100% of Europeans that want to travel. Has been why most countries have not instituted vaccine-only access requirements. There is simply no way to implement in way that does not reek of class privilege.

  54. Niket Aggarwal

    I am guessing they will make the policy to be all vaccines recognized by the WHO. Will still leave some travelers out specially Sputnik (Russia) and COVAX (India) unless WHO approves them by November.

    1. Icarus

      This is the U.K. and EU we are talking about. Those vaccines are not used here

    2. Bob

      Nope - policy covers United Kingdom, European Union, China, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil or South Africa.

      Not just EU/UK - for this to mean anything they'll have to recognize AZ and the Chinese vaccines.

  55. Nate nate

    This will really put a crimp in vaccine tourism.

  56. Never In Doubt

    To all the chuckleheads commenting “This is just politics!”

    Duh!

    EVERYTHING. EVERY. POLITICIAN. DOES. IS. JUST. POLITICS.

  57. Never In Doubt

    Been in Europe since late August, bought our Dec return tickets yesterday. Just in time to beat the competition from the locals!

  58. Enzo

    I'm medically exempted from the vaccine, per my doctor. Is there any information surrounding medical exemptions for travel?

    1. Zweral

      from your chiropractor you mean?

  59. Hank Tarn

    I am very unhappy about this. The one thing that I liked about Biden was that he was keeping our borders closed to unnecessary travel during the pandemic.

    America does not need any European travel while the virus is still killing Americans.

    1. Luis

      Keeping our borders closed? You means besides the southern borders for illegal immigrants?

    2. Never In Doubt

      Trolling?

      Or an idiot? (since almost every other country is open for travel to the US)

      Hard to tell.

    3. Luke

      Go move to Australia or even better New Zealand

    4. Mike

      I hope you're just trolling because these travel bans that we've had in place have been ridiculous. I don't see how allowing vaccinated foreigners into the country increases the risk to Americans at all. Honestly, all restrictions including masks should be removed for vaccinated people. If these international flights are all vaccinated passengers who also test negative prior to departure, then what is the need for masks? I would actually be in favor of requiring...

      I hope you're just trolling because these travel bans that we've had in place have been ridiculous. I don't see how allowing vaccinated foreigners into the country increases the risk to Americans at all. Honestly, all restrictions including masks should be removed for vaccinated people. If these international flights are all vaccinated passengers who also test negative prior to departure, then what is the need for masks? I would actually be in favor of requiring vaccinations for air travel if it meant removing the silly mask mandates. If you actually look at the ventilation and filtration of the air in commercial aircraft, that is what is preventing Covid spread on airplanes. It is not masking. Most people on longer flights have their masks off for long durations anyway when eating meals and enjoying drinks so masks are not why planes have been safe.

    5. Andrew

      Hank, the policies and reality were idiotic. Asia, much of South America and many other parts of the world were permitted with negative testing, regardless of vaccination status. And antigen was considered acceptable, which was superduper weak. (Heck, I took two Abbott BinaxNOW tests which the CDC approves for travel last week and they just asked me to read the result to them rather than looking.)

      Asking vaccination status is the only way we're going...

      Hank, the policies and reality were idiotic. Asia, much of South America and many other parts of the world were permitted with negative testing, regardless of vaccination status. And antigen was considered acceptable, which was superduper weak. (Heck, I took two Abbott BinaxNOW tests which the CDC approves for travel last week and they just asked me to read the result to them rather than looking.)

      Asking vaccination status is the only way we're going to get through this pandemic - the end game is not to eliminate the virus... that ship sailed in early 2020. The end game is to get everyone vaccinated so that mortality is more like the common flu.

      This creates incentives for people to get vaccinated, which is exactly the right step.

  60. stogieguy7

    Biden doesn't follow the science; the follows the orders of his caretakers. And why they think it's cool for unvaccinated throngs from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are fine but vaccinated people from Germany, France and Belgium are not is something that only Karl Marx can answer.

  61. panda

    The US can’t just throw together a vaccine verification system like other countries. Health privacy, data security laws, and competing business interests force it to take a lot longer to implement.

    1. Towelie196

      We would mainly be verifying European vaccination status, who in many regards have more stringent data security laws than in the US.

    2. miamiorbust

      And for testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans, how does vaccination status get validated? There is no real system. Just a worthless piece of paper.

    3. Jan

      That worthless piece of paper works just fine in Europe.

    4. panda

      As for the testing requirement, it is apples and oranges compared to vaccination status in complexity of verification and health privacy law.

    5. panda

      Europe doesn’t have HIPAA and it has to be a universal system, not just for Europeans. Also there is no unified policy in Europe- it’s a bunch of different countries with various travel policies.

  62. Kuloko

    How about lifting another ridiculous requirement for Covid-19 tests for vaccinated Americans to fly back to US?

    1. Tiger

      Yup, as long as the deranged policy of testing is in place nothing will change. So-called "lifting the ban" is disgusting virtue signaling.

    2. Never In Doubt

      Sure, it’s an inconvenience and a small expense, but is it really that big a deal?

      If THAT’S what’s stopping you from traveling…

    3. Greg

      Yes it is actually a huge deal, specially for families (one in your group tests positive can derail everything and cause multiweek expensive quarantine) and last minute emergency travel (can't always schedule a test) and business travel (companies can't always require employees to submit to tests just for travel to clients)

    4. Never In Doubt

      @Greg,
      “ one in your group tests positive can derail everything and cause multiweek expensive quarantine”

      “The COVID positive SHOULD be able to travel on planes dammit!” is an innovative argument. Kudos!

    5. Mike

      If they are keeping the ridiculous testing requirement for vaccinated people, then the mask mandate for air travel needs to be revoked immediately. There is zero science or data that indicates that a vaccinated person who also does not have the virus needs to mask. The problem is, very few of the restrictions and mandates that we've seen throughout this whole thing actually follow the data.

    6. Andrew

      Zero science, except for the breakthrough cases with the delta variant. But zero science as of April 2021. Yup.

    7. Mike

      They make you test even if you are vaccinated to make sure you don't have a breakthrough case so yeah, there is zero reason for a vaccinated person who is verified to not have the virus to wear a mask. Common sense.

    8. Greg

      Why is a breakthrough case a big deal, or frankly why is flying when covid positive a big deal if other passengers and crew are all vaccinated.

      Covid is endemic now, we need to stop treating any healthy person who is otherwise covid positive as a plague rat.

      If you're vaccinated there is no need to be afraid to be near or fly with a covid positive passenger. If you're afraid of covid go get vaccinated.

    9. Calypsia

      NYguy, Can you please cite a study/data that shows vaccinated people are “significantly” less likely to infect other people? Maybe I missed that one.

    10. BC

      This is what I am most hopeful for. The requirement is so stupid. It was designed to keep Americans from going abroad back before we had a vaccine. Now we have it. Why still require the non-sensical test for those with a verifiable vaccination status?

    11. BF

      Covid Denier 1: "You can still get covid even when vaccinated so it is pointless"
      Covid Denier 2: "Why should I have to be covid tested when I am vaccinated"

      Maybe it is not the same people making these two arguments but I seriously wonder..

  63. Joey

    I'm curious whether the US gov't will accept EU travelers who took the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

    1. Creditcrunch

      Sky News siting a White House source reported that the AZ vaccine will be accepted.

  64. Giovanna

    Good! Was starting to worry about my travel credit with United that expires end of march.

    1. Towelie196

      UA extended the majority of travel credits through 12/31/2022.

    2. Giovanna

      Strange! I still have 31st march as "book and commence travel" limit.

  65. Jan

    Biden Administration has never followed the science. They follow the politics first.

  66. khatl

    Maybe I'm a skeptic but I saw it as being politics.

    There was a red hot US economy thru August, so no need for tourism which would have just made it even hotter.

    Since last week, signs are that the US economy is slightly cooling, so allowing tourists again will stimulate GDP given the 2 years of pent up demand for vacationing in the US and that demand will continue thru next Summer to the mid-term elections.

  67. John

    This ban made no sense. I traveled twice to Europe and could have had Covid but since I’m an American I’m allowed in and I’m not vaccinated but vaccinated Europeans can’t come in. Uncle Joe never had and never has made sense!

  68. Grabamile

    The press conference is at 10 AM next Monday (Sep 27)

  69. Nick

    In fact there was never a ban against Europeans, it was a ban on arriving from European Union/Schengen countries (EU and Schengen are not all of Europe - those living on the continent outside these two geopolitical unions are Europeans too) and, these were applied to all coming from EU/Schengen (no matter of nationality and actual country of residence). As a European you could go to another non-Schengen or non-EU European country, spend two weeks...

    In fact there was never a ban against Europeans, it was a ban on arriving from European Union/Schengen countries (EU and Schengen are not all of Europe - those living on the continent outside these two geopolitical unions are Europeans too) and, these were applied to all coming from EU/Schengen (no matter of nationality and actual country of residence). As a European you could go to another non-Schengen or non-EU European country, spend two weeks there and freely travel to the US.

    1. Jan

      Tomato, to-mah-to. A 2-week quarantine is akin to a de-facto ban for the vast majority of tourists

    2. Giovanna

      Yeah sure! Because everybody has at least 4 weeks holiday.

    3. jetset

      Right but, in practice, that is a ban. It specifically impacts non-US citizens and permanent residents because, as a US citizen I could travel to Paris, and then immediately come back to the US with no quarantine or entry restriction. The same would not be true of a friend who lives in the US on a US work visa but who is a French citizen. If they left the US they would potentially not be...

      Right but, in practice, that is a ban. It specifically impacts non-US citizens and permanent residents because, as a US citizen I could travel to Paris, and then immediately come back to the US with no quarantine or entry restriction. The same would not be true of a friend who lives in the US on a US work visa but who is a French citizen. If they left the US they would potentially not be able to re-enter without spending 2 weeks in a third country not on the entry restriction list.

      If you're merely pointing out the detailed semantics of the word choice then I suppose you are correct but dramatic overreach is clearly not the point of the post.

      UK and EU residents (and citizens living in the US who may want to travel home and back), for all practical purposes, banned from travel to the US during this period.

    4. Bagoly

      Weirdly, it is Schengen + Ireland + UK which are on the ban list, but not the EU per se.
      So one can travel from the few EU countries which are not in Schengen (Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria)
      This has been the case from March 2020.

  70. Sharon

    I agree, the travel ban should end.

    If people have the vaccine & negative covid test, they should be welcome to spend their $$ here!

  71. shoeguy

    About time. Completely absurd that US passport holders have enjoyed generally fluid access to many European countries since May, while COVID rages in America which has one of the highest case loads of any developed nation. The hypocrisy is real.

    1. miamiorbust

      EU could have enforced their own COVID circuit breaker criteria and cut off summer holiday $$$. EU leaders opted to take the cash over protecting safety of their population. How is that the fault of US policy? If you are based in Europe/EU, kick out your leaders that swapped your safety for tourist dollars.

    2. Nils

      To be honest, they should be subjected to the same treatment people have to suffer through at US airports.

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gmb

morons are the sheep slurping up the constantly changing dictates from their establishment masters

Mak

Although these travel bans had horribly harsh consequences of preventing people from seeing their families, getting educated, earning a living, going to a loved one's wedding or funeral, etc., at least they prevented Covid from entering the USA!

Never In Doubt

There is already a testing requirement for anyone entering the US by air. Have you not been paying attention?

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