Children under the age of 18 and adults from dozens of countries with vaccine shortages will be spared from new recommendations requiring most travelers to receive COVID-19 inoculation in the United States, according to the Biden administration.
The government announced on Monday that airlines will be required to gather contact information on all passengers, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, to aid in contact tracing in the event that it becomes essential.
With only a few exceptions, foreign, non-immigrant adults flying to the United States will be required to be completely vaccinated beginning Nov. 8, and all travelers will be tested for the virus before boarding a plane to the United States. Those who have not been fully vaccinated, including Americans and visitors, will be subjected to additional restrictions.
Those who have been vaccinated must produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel, while those who have not been vaccinated must show documentation of a test done within one day of the flight.
Unless they are 2 or younger, children under the age of 18 must still take the COVID-19 test.
Children can demonstrate evidence of a negative viral test from a sample collected three days before departure (consistent with the timeline for fully vaccinated adults).
People who participated in COVID-19 clinical studies experienced severe allergic responses to the vaccines, or are from a place where injections are not generally available will be excluded from the immunization obligation.
The US will accept any vaccination that has been licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization for regular or emergency use. Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines from China are among them. It will be possible to mix and match approved photos.
The Biden administration has been working closely with airlines, which will be in charge of enforcing the new regulations. Airlines will be required to double-check immunization records and cross-reference them with passenger data.
The new rules will replace limitations imposed by President Donald Trump in January 2020, when he stopped most non-U.S. citizens from entering the country. This was expanded by the Trump administration to include Brazil, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and most of continental Europe. President Joe Biden upheld the sanctions and added South Africa and India to the list of countries affected.
According to an administration official, quarantine inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will spot-check travelers arriving in the United States for compliance. Failure to comply with the requirements might result in fines of up to $35,000 per infraction.
“Anyone hoping for an explosion of international inbound visitors will be disappointed,” he said. “Nov. 8 will be the start of the international travel recovery in the U.S., but I don’t believe we see a full recovery until 2023 at the earliest.”
The Biden administration has not recommended a vaccination requirement for domestic travel, which the airlines have vehemently opposed, claiming that it would be impracticable given the enormous number of passengers that travel within the United States on a daily basis.