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U.S. to ease travel restrictions for foreign visitors who are vaccinated against Covid


People arrive at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on March 13, 2020. in New York City.

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The U.S. is planning to ease travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against Covid-19, including those from the U.K. and EU, the White House said Monday.

Jeff Zients who leads the White House’s Covid Response efforts, stated that non-citizens will need to provide proof of vaccination.

These changes, expected to boost holiday bookings by the airline industry, will go into effect in November.

“They must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane,” Zients said during a press briefing.

Airlines and other travel-industry groups have clamored for the U.S. to lift the restrictions for months. In March 2020, the Trump administration issued the first rules. President Joe Biden upheld those rules in January, shortly after taking office.

Since vaccines were widely available in spring, European and British officials have relaxed entry regulations to allow U.S. visitors to travel easier. However, the U.S. has not reciprocated.

It would be a huge impact to allow more international tourists into the United States. An industry ban that prohibits non-American citizens from traveling has had profound impacts on airlines, retailers and restaurants.

To aid in contract traceability, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require that airlines collect and disclose passenger information.

“In the coming weeks, CDC will be issuing a contact tracing order requiring airlines to collect current information for each U.S.-bound traveler, including their phone number and email address,” Zients said.

The U.S. and Canada, along with the U.K, EU, Mexico, and Canada, announced in June that they were forming a group to examine how international travel can be safely resumed.