Joe Biden is making it harder for unvaccinated people to travel to America. In fact, he’s making it impossible.
The administration is currently developing a plan to require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This moves comes as the White House seeks ways to fully open the country and lift travel restrictions put in place by Former President Trump in response to the global pandemic.
The White House is not ready to immediately lift travel restrictions because of the rising COVID-19 case load and highly transmissible COVID-19 delta variant, the official said.
Last month, Reuters reported the White House was considering requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated as part of discussions on how to relax travel restrictions. The sources said no decisions have been made.
The official added the “working groups are developing a policy and planning process to be prepared for when the time is right to transition to this new system.”
Some other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, are relaxing or lifting restrictions for vaccinated Americans to travel.
The White House has held discussions with airlines and others about how it would implement a policy of requiring vaccines for foreign visitors. There are other questions the Biden administration must answer, including what proof it would accept of vaccination and if the United States would accept vaccines that some countries are using but which have not yet been authorized by U.S. regulators.
The United States currently bars most non-U.S. citizens who within the past 14 days have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil.
The extraordinary U.S. travel restrictions were first imposed on China in January 2020 to address the spread of COVID-19 and other countries have been added since then — most recently India in early May.
The Biden administration has also been talking to U.S. airlines in recent weeks about establishing international contact tracing for passengers before lifting travel restrictions.
Author: Elizabeth Tierney