After 18 months, international visitors may finally be allowed to enter the U.S. beginning in November—as long as they're fully vaccinated. The announcement from the Biden Administration has been well received in the travel industry, as many are eager to return to a sense of normalcy in air travel.
So, what has changed as it relates specifically to flying?
AP reported that, "All adult foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. will be required to be fully vaccinated before boarding their flight. This is in addition to the current requirement that travelers show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure to the U.S."
Those Americans who are fully vaccinated and traveling back into the U.S. will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure. Unvaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents, however, will need to be tested within 24 hours of their departure in addition to being tested upon their return.
The New York Times reported that the new policy, once in place, will allow foreign travelers to enter the U.S., but they must "show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative coronavirus test within three days of coming to the United States," that according to Jeffrey D. Zients, White House pandemic coordinator.
In a statement, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow expressed approval following the announcement that restrictions on international air travel will be lifted for vaccinated individuals.
"The U.S. Travel Association applauds the Biden administration's announcement of a roadmap to reopen air travel to vaccinated individuals from around the world, which will help revive the American economy and protect public health," Dow said. "This is a major turning point in the management of the virus and will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions.
"The U.S. Travel Association expresses its deep appreciation to the President and his advisors—in particular Commerce Secretary Raimondo, who has been a tireless advocate—for working with the industry to develop a plan to restart international travel and safely reconnect America with the world."
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.