U.S. Clarifies Vaccine Requirements For International Reopening

U.S. Clarifies Vaccine Requirements For International Reopening

International travelers who have received COVID-19 vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization can enter the United States beginning in November, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Oct. 8, a CDC spokesperson confirmed that six vaccines meet the criteria for travel to the U.S. Those vaccines include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which have been approved by both the FDA and the WHO, as well as Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac, which have been approved by the WHO.

traveler handing vaccine certificate to control officer

The spokesperson said the CDC notified airlines of the accepted vaccines “earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems.”

In early November, the U.S. plans to lift travel restrictions for air passengers from 33 countries, including Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the United Kingdom and most of Europe.

Under current rules, the U.S. bans most foreign travelers who have visited those countries within the past 14 days.

Before boarding a flight to the U.S., international travelers will be required to show proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within three days of departure. They will also be required to take part in an enhanced contact tracing program and wear masks, but they will not have to quarantine on arrival.

It is not yet known if travelers who have been inoculated with vaccines not approved by the WHO will be allowed to enter the country. Rules regarding unvaccinated children and travelers from countries that don’t have easy access to vaccines are also undetermined.

covid vaccine document

In a statement, the CDC said it “will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized.”

Airlines for America, a trade organization representing several U.S. airlines, released a statement saying it was “pleased” the CDC released a list of approved vaccines for foreign travelers.

The group also said it was looking forward “to working with the [Biden] administration to implement this new global vaccine and testing framework by early November 2021.”