The United States will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions on November 8 to allow fully vaccinated visitors from Europe and several countries outside of Europe to travel to America. The changes mark a partial end to a 19-month ban on nonessential travel that has been in place since the early days of the pandemic. The new policy will allow travel from all E.U. nations and the U.K., in addition to Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, and South Africa. Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced that travel restrictions would also be lifted for vaccinated travelers entering the country across the borders with Canada and Mexico. That policy will also go into effect on November 8.
In order to enter the country, travelers will need to show proof of full vaccination before boarding planes bound for the U.S., or, in the case of land entry, before crossing the border. “This vaccination requirement deploys the best tool we have in our arsenal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus,” Biden’s COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients said during a press briefing last month.
Air travelers will still need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within three days of departure, as well, while those entering via land borders will not. Unvaccinated travelers remained barred from crossing into the U.S. via a land border, though there are some exceptions, like some children, as well as commercial drivers and students, who won’t have to prove they are vaccinated until January.
The CDC will additionally issue a contact-tracing order requiring airlines to collect current contact information from every traveler who enters the country, including their phone number and email address, per CNBC. Thus, health officials can follow up with inbound travelers if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
Currently, only American citizens, residents, and foreigners with special visas are allowed to enter the U.S. from most European countries. Meanwhile, unvaccinated Americans will be allowed to travel back to the U.S. but will have to show proof of a negative COVID test within one day of their flight.