US issues new travel rules for foreign fliers. Read on to know more

President Biden made it mandatory for all foreign travellers to take full dose of COVID vaccine approved by the WHO before boarding a plane to the US

As per the declaration signed by US President Joe Biden, Indians who have taken Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will still have to produce a negative RT-PCR report to travel to the US. | Pic: Pixabay

People willing to fly to US may find it easier as President Joe Biden eased travel restrictions for people from China, India and parts of Europe with effect from November 8.

However, Biden passed a new order which makes it mandatory for all foreign travellers to take full dose of COVID vaccine approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) before boarding a plane to the US. However, children below the age of 18 are exempted from the vaccine rule. Additionally, non-tourist travellers from nearly 50 countries with nationwide vaccination rates of less than 10 percent will also be eligible for the new rule. Passengers who get exemption from the rule will need to be vaccinated within 60 days after arriving in the US.

This means Indians who have taken Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will still have to produce a negative RT-PCR report to travel to the US. The Made in India vaccine is awaiting emergency use approval from the WHO, which will meet on Tuesday (October 26) to discuss Covaxin’s case.

Biden said, “It is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States.”

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Then US President Donald Trump had imposed strict international travel restrictions during the first COVID wave, which were carried forward by Joe Biden after he took charge in January this year. The country banned most visitors from Brazil, China, South Africa, the UK, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, Ireland, India and Iran.

The first relaxation came on September 20, when the US said it would remove restrictions for fully vaccinated air passengers from 33 countries starting November.

Also read: UK travel update: India’s vaccine certification process an issue, not jab

The Biden administration says that as per the proclamation, airlines will be required to check travellers’ vaccination status before they can board departing planes.

Also read: COVID hit life expectancy worse than World War II: Study

It is the responsibility of airlines to confirm that the proof of vaccination comes from an “official source” and was received at least two weeks prior to date of travel.

Unvaccinated travellers, including Americans, will have to show a negative COVID test taken within one day of departure.

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