Posted: Thursday, August 5, 2021. 4:25 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: As part of a phased re-opening for international visitors, the Joe Biden administration is in planning stages to require vaccination against COVID-19 for all foreign national visitors, a White House official has said, according to the BBC.
No timeline for the decision was given.
The United States has seen a rise in cases, particularly among the unvaccinated, amid the spread of the Delta variant. More than 70 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, yet cases are rising in several states, with regions and businesses again introducing rules to mandate wearing of masks publicly to counteract the spread.
Currently, COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent most international travelers from entering, starting with China last January, then to non-American nationals who had visited the United Kingdom, the Schengen Bloc of Europe, Brazil, Ireland, India, Iran and South Africa. Others, like Belizeans, must show proof of a negative Covid test taken within three days of travel.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the US would “maintain existing travel restrictions at this point” due to rising infections, despite opposition from airlines and the tourism industry.
The unnamed White House official said the administration was looking to reopen in a “safe and sustainable manner”, adding that “with limited exceptions… foreign nationals travelling to the United States – from all countries – need to be fully vaccinated”.
It is not clear if that requirement would mean only US-approved vaccines would be accepted. The Astra-Zeneca jab has not yet been approved in the U.S.
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