The White House is set to announce Friday that it will lift travel restrictions come Nov. 8, exciting many foreign nationals at the prospect of returning home in at least 18 months.
Travelers will have to show proof of full vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure.
One day earlier, the Joe Biden administration announced it would open its land borders to travelers from Canada and Mexico.
Such land travelers will need to show proof of vaccination but will not need to show a Covid-19 test.
Masks will still be mandatory on flights and passengers will need to provide their phone number and email for contact tracing. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the mask mandate until January 2022.
“The US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8.
“This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent,’ White House press aide Kevin Munoz wrote on Twitter.
The White House had announced on Sept. 20 that restrictions would ease sometime in November, a rollback that affects 33 countries whose nationals are currently banned from traveling to the states, including China, India, Brazil and much of Europe.
The US Travel Association welcomed the news it had long pushed for.
“U.S. Travel has long called for the safe reopening of our borders, and we welcome the Biden administration’s announcement,” the group said.
“Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions.”
Covid-19 travel restrictions were first implemented in January 2020, when former President Trump suspended travel from China. Two months later, he banned travel from the EU and UK.
Biden for months has maintained strict closures for foreign travelers, drawing frustration from European governments as they brought down case counts and reached high levels of vaccination.
The European Union began allowing US travelers in late July, only to reverse course and take the US off the safe travel list the following month. The move was said to be partly fueled by anger at the lack of reciprocation from Washington.
Canada began allowing vaccinated US travelers on Aug. 9.
Of those of all ages, 66 percent of Americans have had at least one jab, and 57 percent are fully vaccinated.
The US will reportedly accept any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO), not just those approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so the millions of Britons who received the AstraZeneca vaccine would be allowed in.
It is not yet clear how they will treat those who took mixed doses, such as one AstraZeneca and one Pfizer.