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Feds Plan to Lift Travel Restrictions, but Not for the Unvaxxed

Officials say vaccination will be required for almost all arrivals from other countries
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2021 5:06 AM CDT
Feds Plan to Require All Foreign Visitors to Be Vaccinated
President Biden turns back to answer a question after speaking about the coronavirus pandemic in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The Biden administration is working on plans to lift travel restrictions to the US—but unvaccinated travelers are likely to remain barred. Officials tell CNN that while planning is still in the early stages, the administration's plan for lifting restrictions will require people arriving in the US from all countries to be fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Earlier plans to lift restrictions were put on hold as the delta variant of the coronavirus surged and a White House official speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity said no new timeline has been established for lifting restrictions, which were first introduced early last year.

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Under the current restrictions, non-US citizen travelers who have been in any of a long list of countries in the previous 14 days—including the UK, Brazil, China, and the 26 European countries in the Schengen area—are banned from entering the US. India was added to the list in May. An official tells Reuters that infections "appear likely to continue to increase in the weeks ahead" and that "the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point." Officials say the White House has been in talks with airlines about how the vaccine policy would be implemented. It's not clear what sort of proof of vaccination will be required, or whether the administration will accept travelers who have received vaccinations that have not been approved by US regulators. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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