Biden Administration Releases New Guidance For International Travelers

The White House has released new guidance for international travelers flying into the country. The new guidance will affect both US citizens and foreign nationals.

Besides, these new guidelines have three specific orders. Senior administration officials say these orders will help advance the president’s plan to drop coronavirus travel restrictions by November 8.

Excerpts From the New Guidelines

The president said he deduced the best thing for the country is to stop the country-by-country travel restrictions that were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the country will adopt a vaccine-reliant air travel policy. With this in place, the country can resume international air travel.

The proclamation will govern the entry of non-citizens and non-immigrants into the country. These are non-citizens who are visiting the country or coming to the country temporarily.

Non-citizens and non-immigrants are barred from entering the country by air if they are unvaccinated; although, there are limited circumstances in which they can be allowed into the country.

However, the circumstances will be consistent with the health and safety guidelines made by the director of the CDC. In addition, such persons must agree to take the full dose of the vaccine upon arrival.

The policies aim to mitigate the risk of transmitting and spreading the COVID-19 virus into the United States. In light of this, the virus will not overwhelm the country’s public health resources or endanger the safety and health of Americans.

Orders and Exemptions in the Guidelines

The CDC ordered all travelers provide their proof of vaccination and proof of negative PCR or antigen test within three days after arriving in the United States. Secondly, unvaccinated American citizens and visa holders are allowed to fly in the country.

However, they must show proof of a negative test within one day of entering the country. In addition, all airlines must collect contact tracing information from all passengers coming to the country. The information must also be submitted to the CDC.

There are also some exemptions in the new guidance. Children ages 2-17 traveling with a vaccinated adult are not required to show proof of vaccination before boarding a plane.

However, they have to show evidence of a negative COVID test within the stipulated window. Children who are traveling with unvaccinated eligible visa holders or American adults fall under the one-day window.

Furthermore, some participants in specific COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials (and those with a history of medical contraindications to the COVID vaccine) are exempted. In addition, those who need to travel because of humanitarian reasons or emergencies are exempted from showing proof of vaccine before boarding a plane coming to the US.

However, the United States government will have to issue them a letter confirming they have to travel urgently.

Again, the Biden administration says it will allow airlines to accept physical and digital vaccination proof. Aside from that, the administration will also work with airlines to ensure the new air travel guidance is followed to the letter.