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Closed since March 2020, US borders finally reopen to vaccinated travelers

The United States will let in from “early November” all travelers from overseas provided they are fully vaccinated against covid-19, the White House announced Monday. Travelers will also need to get tested within three days of their trip to the United States, and wear a mask.

In addition, a traveler tracking system will be set up by the airlines, which will have to collect the information to contact them, said the coordinator of the fight against the pandemic at the White House, Jeff Zients.

Twenty months of restrictions

Washington is thus lifting restrictions that have been weighing since March 2020 on travelers from the European Union, the United Kingdom, or China, and then applying later to India or Brazil.

Jeff Zients insisted that this decision, which comes in a context of great tension between France and the United States, was “dictated by science”. According to him, the United States took the time to set up a global system based on “individuals” and not on differences in treatment depending on the country of origin. He did not immediately indicate which vaccines would be recognized by the United States to allow entry of travelers.

No compulsory vaccination on domestic flights

The coordinator of the fight against the pandemic of Joe Biden also specified that unvaccinated Americans who would return to the United States after a stay abroad would be subject to even stricter testing obligations. They will thus be asked to be tested in the day preceding their return, and to be tested again after their arrival on American soil.

The White House has toughened its tone in recent weeks and multiplied announcements to impose vaccination where federal authorities can afford it. However, it has not yet taken one of the most drastic decisions in its power, namely to impose vaccination on domestic flights in the United States.