(PresidentialWire.com)- In November, air travelers from 33 different countries will have the travel ban to the United States lifted.
On Monday, the White House announced it would be easing air travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people from 33 countries. Those restrictions first began under former President Donald Trump early in the pandemic.
Most European countries are included in that list, along with Brazil, India and China.
The announcement was made by Jeff Zients, who serves as the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator. It’s a rather abrupt change in approach by the Biden administration, which only last week said it wasn’t yet time to lift any of the restrictions for travelers as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Now, though, the U.S. will remove the restrictions starting in November, even though the country has lagged behind most other countries that have already done so.
The previous travel restrictions were banning travelers from just about every country in the world. The restrictions even applied to many foreign nationals who had business links to, or relatives who live in, America.
Those who wish to travel to the U.S. will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and they’ll have to prove that they are. Included in the list are 26 of the “Schengen countries” in Europe. This includes Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
In addition, people from Brazil, Iran, South Africa, India, China, Britain and Ireland are allowed to come if they are fully vaccinated.
The previous restrictions barred any people who weren’t citizens of the U.S. from traveling to America if they were in any of those countries within the past two weeks before their arrival to the U.S.
The first air travel restrictions were implemented in January of 2020 by Trump, when he banned all travelers from China. Those restrictions were then extended to many other countries once the pandemic broke out in earnest in America.
When the restrictions were put in place, there weren’t any definitive metrics implemented for when and how they would be lifted.
Zients didn’t give a specific start date for when the rules would be put in place, only saying it would happen early in the month. Specific details of the policy are still in the works at the White House.
In addition to lifting these air restrictions on Monday, the White House also extended restrictions for the land borders it has with Mexico and Canada. Those restrictions bar all non-essential travel through October 21. That includes any travel for tourism purposes.
Again, the Biden administration didn’t give an indication of whether the new COVID-19 vaccine rules for air travelers would apply to people who wanted to travel into the U.S. legally through its two land borders.
New rules are also being put into place for Americans who are traveling back to the country from abroad. They’ll either need to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or show a negative coronavirus test within one day of their travels.
Then, they must also show proof that they purchased a viral test that they will take after they arrive in the U.S.