Biden Easing Airplane Travel Restrictions on Foreigners, Require Proof of Full Vaccination

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
September 20, 2021COVID-19

The Biden administration on Monday confirmed it will direct the Department of Homeland Security to ease travel restrictions on COVID-19 vaccinated foreign visitors.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said in a news conference that all foreign visitors need to be vaccinated and present proof of their vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline. Those individuals must also show a negative COVID-19 test no later than 72 hours before flying, he said, adding that there will be no quarantine requirement.

Zients said the new rules, which go into effect in early November, will “protect Americans here at home, and enhance the safety of the international air travel system.”

President Joe Biden’s administration will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who will need to be tested within a day before returning to the United States, as well as after they arrive home, Zients announced. “This is based on individuals rather than a country based approach, so it’s a stronger system,” he said

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also mandate airlines to collect contact information from travelers from abroad to perform contact tracing, he also said.

It’s not clear what vaccines will be accepted under the new travel requirement or whether vaccines that haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration could be used. Zients said the CDC will have to make that determination.

The new restrictions do not affect land travel from Canada and Mexico, where travel curbs are still in effect.

“We do not have any updates to the land border policies at this point,” Zients said. He did not say when the northern and southern borders will be reopened for regular travel.

About 18 months ago, the Trump administration announced the United States would restrict flights from China, much of Europe, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and other countries in the nascent phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Those restrictions were still intact when Biden took office in January of this year, and the White House in July announced it would maintain the restrictions due to the Delta variant.

For months, airlines and airline groups have been pushing the Biden administration to rescind the restrictions as European and UK officials have eased entry rules for American travelers.

Monday’s announcement also comes as some administration officials have publicly floated a requirement that Americans flying domestically be fully vaccinated against the CCP virus.

Anthony Fauci, Biden’s COVID-19 advisor and one of the administration’s public faces regarding its pandemic response, said over the weekend that a vaccine mandate for domestic flights could be in the works.

“The team has a lot of things on the table. Nothing has been taken off the table,” Fauci said on “Meet the Press” when asked about the potential policy mandate. “We have not yet gotten to the point of requiring vaccinations on domestic flights, but everything is on the table,” he added Sunday. “We consider these things literally on a daily basis. So suffice it to say, it’s still on the table right now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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