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White House Rescinds Travel Bans in Favor of Proof of Vaccination

Posted On September 21, 2021

by Luke Phillips

On September 20, 2021, the White House announced plans to rescind the current COVID-19 travel bans in favor of a requirement of proof of vaccination for all international travelers coming into the United States, beginning in early November.  We anticipate additional policy details and implementation information will be released in the coming weeks.  The below information has been provided by the Biden administration.

The announcement indicates that travel bans in place for individuals from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India will be set side and replaced by a global policy requiring all international travelers, regardless of country of origin, to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding a flight to the United States.

The administration plans to provide for limited exceptions to this proposed policy, such as for children, COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants, and humanitarian exceptions for people traveling for an important reason who lack access to vaccination prior to travel.  However, individuals who are exempted from the policy may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival.

In addition to this proposed policy, the White House has indicated that prior to boarding an airplane, all unvaccinated American travelers who return to the United States and are not fully vaccinated will be required to provide proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure and provide proof that they have purchased a viral test to be taken after arrival.

The administration also plans to maintain the mask mandate through January 18, 2022, enhance pre-departure and post-arrival testing requirements, and implement a contact tracing order for airlines requiring collection of comprehensive contact information for every passenger coming to the United States.

We will continue to provide updates as additional details concerning the change in policy come to light.

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