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Coronavirus

U.S. to allow vaccinated foreign travelers in November

Biden administration to lift ban on travel from China, EU and elsewhere

Passengers queue at Los Angeles International Airport in May. There will be no quarantine mandate for vaccinated visitors under the loosened travel rules.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The U.S. will allow fully vaccinated foreign travelers to enter the country starting in November, according to the White House COVID-19 coordinator.

Travelers will have to show proof of vaccination before boarding any plane flying to the U.S., as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of departure. There will be no quarantine mandate. Unvaccinated Americans returning from abroad will face stricter testing requirements.

"International travel is critical to connecting families and friends, to fueling small and large business, to promoting the open exchange ideas of and culture," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters on Monday.

"Most importantly, foreign nationals flying to the U.S. will be required to be fully vaccinated," he said.

Travelers from China, India, most of Europe, and other countries have faced travel restrictions for more than a year. Despite a strong vaccine rollout earlier this year, the U.S. has been slower to lift them than other countries like Canada or the U.K.

The European Union began lifting travel restraints for American visitors in June, and the continued travel ban in the U.S. has frustrated its European counterparts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the issue in her meeting with President Joe Biden in July.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to push for a lifting of travel restrictions in his upcoming visit with Biden, according to the BBC.

Japan signaled its intention to ease some travel constraints following a request to do so from a top business lobby, but the country maintains a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

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