People arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on March 13, 2020. in New York City.
Pablo Monsalve | Corbis News | Getty Images
The US will ease travel restrictions on international visitors vaccinated against Covid-19 in November, including those from the UK and the EU, the White House said on Monday.
Non-citizens visiting the United States must provide proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test within three days of departure, said Jeff Zients, who leads the nation’s Covid response efforts for the White House.
The changes go into effect in early November, which the aviation industry expects to boost vacation bookings.
“You have to provide proof of vaccination before boarding a plane to the US,” Zients said during a press conference.
Airlines and other groups in the travel industry have been calling for the US to lift restrictions for months. The Trump administration first enacted the rules, which now apply to more than 30 countries, in March 2020. President Joe Biden maintained these rules shortly after he took office in January.
The Biden administration is also tightening the rules for unvaccinated US citizens returning to their homes. You must test one day before departure and test again when you return.
European and UK officials have eased entry requirements to make it easier for US travelers to visit since vaccines became widespread this spring, but the US hadn’t reciprocated.
Allowing more international travelers to visit the United States would have far-reaching implications. A travel ban for non-U.S. Residents has far-reaching implications for industries like airlines, retail and restaurants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also require airlines to collect and provide passenger information to aid in contract tracking.
“In the coming weeks, CDC will issue a contact tracing mandate that will require airlines to collect updated information for every traveler to the US, including their phone number and email address,” said Zients.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines stocks rose after the White House announced an end to travel bans to avoid a wider market sell-off. These airlines offer the most international service of any US carrier and will benefit the most from the policy change.
“We applaud the Biden administration for establishing a pathway to reopen international travel to the US,” Delta said in a statement.
The Atlanta-based airline said it was “optimistic that this important decision will enable continued economic recovery in both the US and abroad and the reunification of families who have been separated for more than 18 months.”
In June, the US, UK, EU, Mexico and Canada announced that they would form a group to investigate how to safely reopen international travel.