US Border Reopening to Fully Vaccinated Visitors
The US is reopening its borders on November 8 to fully vaccinated visitors, ending a 20-month entry ban.
The ban was imposed by former President Donald Trump due to Covid-19.
It has affected non-US citizens from over 30 countries, including the UK and EU states, separating families and stalling tourism.
Airlines are expecting a flood of visitors as the restrictions are lifted for those who are fully vaccinated, and undergo testing and contact tracing.
In an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, US borders were initially closed to travelers from China in early 2020. The restrictions were then extended to other countries.
The rules barred entry to most non-US citizens who had been in the UK and a number of other European countries, as well as China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.
Under the new rules, foreign travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before flying, get a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of traveling, and hand over their contact information. They will not have to quarantine.
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The US land borders with neighbors Canada and Mexico will also reopen for the fully vaccinated.
Thousands of migrants have arrived in areas along Mexico’s border with the US, hoping to take advantage of the newly-relaxed rules.
In southern Mexico, a new caravan of thousands of mainly Central American migrants – many of them children – has crossed from Chiapas to Oaxaca state, with the ultimate aim of reaching the border and being accepted into the US.
The Migrant Alliance Group, a Mexico-based advocacy group, has warned that false information is being spread about the new rules in some communities – with many asylum seekers assuming that they will now receive more favorable treatment from border officials.
Businesses in cities along the border with Mexico are hoping for a boost after struggling under America’s Covid-induced restrictions.
United Airlines says it expects a 50% rise in international inbound passengers, while Delta’s chief executive Ed Bastian warned travelers to expect queues.
The EU recommended allowing American travelers into the bloc in June, while visitors from the US have been able to travel to the UK since July 28.