The US reveals details on entry of fully vaccinated travellers

 Monday, November 1, 2021 

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has revealed further details regarding the removal of the entry ban for vaccinated travellers from 33 world countries. The country has been banning entry of international arrivals since March 2020, including here the 26 Schengen Area countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The new details about the entry of vaccinated travellers concern travel through land and ferry border crossings. The DHS has announced that starting from Monday, November 8, land ports of entry and ferry terminals will permit entry for vaccinated travellers from the Schengen Area, Ireland and the UK, and the rest.

The statement mentioned that the latest shift eases long-standing restrictions on non-essential travel, consistent with public health guidance. It was also mentioned that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will soon share additional information about the steps eligible travellers will need to take to enter the United States under the new rules.

Therefore, from November 8, Europeans showing up at the US land and ferry border crossings will have to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination in line with the rules set out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The accepted vaccines are only those approved by the World Health Organization, including the ones approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. These are Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen, AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

Travellers will also have to present the purpose of their trip upon arrival and also test for COVID-19. Until January 2022, travellers reaching the US for essential purposes will not be required to be vaccinated. However, from January 2022, vaccination will be mandatory even for essential travellers.

The DHS also warned that from the second week of November, travellers should prepare to wait longer than normal at the US land border crossings due to the travel volumes. It also advised that waiting times can be reduced for travellers who take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP One™ mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.

Speaking about the removal of the travel ban, US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said that the DHS continues to work closely with its international partners to sustainably implement new rules for resuming travel. He mentioned that the country is pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at borders in a manner that strengthens the economy and protects the health and safety of the American public.

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