US President Joe Biden lifts all restrictions for vaccinated travellers; all WHO vaccines accepted


US President Joe Biden yesterday signed a new decree lifting most travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers seeking to visit the United States from November 8.

After that date, minors under the age of 18 will not need to prove that they have been vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter the United States.

Speaking by phone about the new regulations governing borders, a senior White House official said that in order to exclude minors, different measures were taken into account between countries for the vaccination of children and the availability of vaccines by country.

Since March 2020 US borders were previously shut for millions of vaccinated travellers around the world but will now reopen on November 8.

Only certain categories of travellers will be exempt from the vaccination obligation: according to a document released by the US government, this includes some of the participants in clinical trials of the vaccine, those who have medical reasons not to be vaccinated, those who travel for humanitarian or urgent reasons and those coming from countries where vaccine availability is low.

Children over the age of two who have not been vaccinated will be tested three days before their arrival in the United States if they are travelling with vaccinated adults. If travelling alone or accompanied by unvaccinated adults, they will take the test one day before departure.

All foreigners should be tested three days before departure if vaccinated and one day before departure if unvaccinated. This measure also applies to U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning to the United States.

According to the White House, it is up to the airlines to check the vaccination certificates of travellers before boarding.

The US has already announced that it is accepting all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac). They also approve combinations of different vaccines for the first dose and boosters.

Airlines will be expected to collect information from travellers that assist with contact tracing and allow authorities to locate them upon arrival in the United States if they have been infected or came in contact with a Covid-19 case.