“The new US policy on travel that will require foreign travellers to the US to be fully vaccinated, will enter into force on November 8th,” the White House said in statement.
The easing of travel restrictions, imposed 18 months ago by Donald Trump as the Covid-19 pandemic first erupted, marks a significant shift by Biden and answers a major demand from European allies at a time of strained diplomatic relations.
Effectively the change means vaccinated travellers from Europe will be able to once again visit the US.
US nationals living in Europe and their close family members had been able to travel home across the Atlantic despite the ban but the strict rules had caused misery for many.
The initial announcement that travel restrictions would be eased was made in September and was greeted warmly in Europe.
German vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: “Great news – for German and European investments, our exports and transatlantic relations” while the Air France chief described it as “great news”.
European countries have long since opened their borders to vaccinated American tourists, but despite diplomatic pressure in recent months the government in Washington had refused to reciprocate the move until now.
At the end of August the EU removed the US from its travel safe list. Following this move several European countries banned unvaccinated travellers from the US.
Sad thing is now it’s paradoxically actually easier for Europeans to travel than Americans. They have the luxury of testing BEFORE they leave home. If positive, stay home. We Americans who miss Italy have to risk testing positive while we’re overseas which is a luxury only the most priveleged can afford. Us plebs can’t risk having to add on 10 more days in a quarantine room to our trips. It’s actually easier for Americans to get into Europe than get home. Even while the US is one of the worst countries in the world for Delta many European countries will let us in just showing the CDC card. If someone can explain how this makes any sense I’d love to hear it. It’s extremely frustrating and also detrimental to the vaccine effort in the US. Either the vaccines work or they don’t but the policy of forcing vaccinated to test before returning home makes it look like they don’t. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.
Agreed. Going to France was easy – I just showed that I was fully vaccinated. I came back to the US from Paris last week – from a country that is over 85% vaccinated to my own country that isn’t even 60% yet, but I had to get a negative test in Paris first. Crazy.
Thanks James. It’s nice to commiserate with someone on this.