US to mandate vaccines, negative COVID-19 tests for all arriving international travelers

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Starting in early November, all international travelers entering the U.S. will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, NBC News reported Sept. 30. 

International travelers will also be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test three days before departing to the U.S., Jeffrey Zients, the White House's COVID-19 coordinator, told NBC

The new policy applies to air travel only and excludes land border crossings. 

It also expands testing requirements for unvaccinated Americans, requiring them to show proof of a negative test within one day of departure and again after arriving back in the U.S. from a foreign country. 

There's currently no vaccination requirement for domestic air travel in the U.S., though no measures are off the table, Mr. Zients said. 

"We clearly have a track record that shows we're pulling available levers to acquire vaccinations and we're not taking any measures off the table on specific authorities used for implementation," he told NBC

Mr. Zients did not specify which COVID-19 shots would be accepted under the new policy, and said the CDC will provide more information. 

To facilitate contact tracing efforts, the CDC will also start requiring airlines to collect and provide passenger information, CNBC reports. 

"In the coming weeks, CDC will be issuing a contact tracing order requiring airlines to collect current information for each U.S.-bound traveler, including their phone number and email address," Mr. Zients said during a Sept. 20 news conference. 

The announcement marks the lift of the nation's ban on nonessential travel for foreign nationals, which has been in place since early 2020.

 

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