When US borders reopen to international visitors in November, travelers will be required to show proof of full vaccination with one of the drugs approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The new rules for accepted vaccines for travel have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to Reuters. In the US, three vaccines—Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—have been approved for emergency use, while WHO has approved AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm, and Sinovac as well. While not currently used in the US, the WHO-approved vaccines are widely used in other countries, opening up US-bound travel to more of the world.
“Earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems, we informed airlines that the vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US,” CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey told USA Today.
Currently, travelers who have been in the UK, European Schengen Zone, Republic of Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India within the past 14 days are barred from the US, minus a few exceptions. The new edict will allow almost all international travelers to enter, provided they meet the vaccine requirements.
At this point, it’s unclear whether or not vaccines missing from that list will be accepted, as further guidance from the CDC still forthcoming. But per CNN’s reporting in September, all vaccinated air travelers entering the US will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure and a PCR or rapid test upon arrival. They will also be required to mask up en route and participate in contact tracing when they disembark.
Rules for exceptions have not yet been set, but the US government’s current requirements state that all air passengers ages 2 and up must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 for travel into the country, including citizens and permanent residents.
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