US media, including CNN and Reuters, are reporting that the White House has announced that vaccinated foreign travellers will be able to enter the US from November 8, without quarantine. This is the date that ends a 20-month ban on foreigners entering the US for anything other than essential work-related, or exceptional reasons.
Kevin Munoz, White House Assistant Press Secretary tweeted: "This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent."
This move will be welcomed by the US travel industry, which has been vocal in its lobbying for a uniform set of requirements for international inbound travellers, to replace a disparate clutch of restrictions disrupting travel.
A White House official told CNN: "CDC has already informed airlines that all FDA approved and authorized vaccines, as well as all vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the WHO will be accepted for air travel. We anticipate the same will be true at the land border," the official said.
The new rules will apply to non-essential travel at US land borders and to passengers arriving by ferry.
Foreign travellers to the US will need to show both proof of vaccination and proof of a recent negative Covid test, before boarding a flight. There are still some unknowns, such as which tests will be acceptable, and how the US will regard minors in terms of vaccination and testing.
The new travel rules will be rolled out in a phased approach, according to the spokesperson.
The first phase, starting November will allow in fully vaccinated visitors travelling for nonessential reasons, VFRs and tourists.
The second phase will start in early January 2022 and will apply the vaccination requirement to all inbound foreign travellers, including essential workers.