U.S. on first steps towards requiring COVID vaccine for foreign visitors, official says

2 mins read

A White House official said that the administration under President Joe Biden is doing the initial actions towards mandating almost all foreign tourists to the United States of vaccination against the coronavirus.

Regardless of vaccination status, all visitors coming to the US are presently mandated to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of travel to the nation.

The official, who asked to be unidentified, revealed to multiple news agencies on Wednesday that the new vaccination requirement will be an aspect of the Biden administration’s move to relieve travel limitations for foreigners coming to the country.

The Biden administration acknowledges the necessity of international travel, the official said, and therefore intends to welcome visitors from overseas again in a “safe and sustainable manner”.

The vaccine requirement will only have restricted exceptions, the official set.

The timeline has not been set yet as the study regarding the process and period to resume normal travel safely is being done by an interagency working group, according to the official.

The change in policy was not close at hand, White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

“Given where we are today with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” Psaki said.

The said restrictions have seriously impacted international travel to the US. It prohibits non-US residents from China, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Ireland, the European Schengen Area, South Africa and India in the preceding two weeks from entering the US.

Allies hit by the restrictions, as well as the air travel industry, and separated families have been pressing the Biden administration to ease some of the restrictions, Al Jazeera reported.

There were also several complaints regarding the restrictions, raising that it does not mirror the present situation, especially that the US has a worse virus situation as compared to other nations affected by the restrictions.