In November, the United States will reopen to air travellers from 33 countries, including China, India, Brazil, and most of Europe,only to those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The White House said on Monday, easing harsh pandemic-related restrictions that commenced early last year.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients’s announcement marked an unexpected change for President Joe Biden’s administration, which said last week it was not the right time to lift any restrictions amid rising COVID-19 cases.
The United States had lingered many other countries in lifting such restrictions, and allies welcomed the move.
The U.S. restrictions have prevented travellers from most of the world, including tens of thousands of foreign nationals with relatives or business links in the United States.
The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travellers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe, including Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France, and Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Iran.
The unprecedented U.S. restrictions have barred non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.