The United States reopens its land and air borders to foreign passengers with the complete vaccination schedule against covid-19, after a year and a half closed.
Thus ends the long wait for regions like Europe, which had been waiting for a reciprocal measure from Washington since the European Union opened its doors to vaccinated Americans at the beginning of the summer.
These travel restrictions in place since March 2020, initially enforced by former President Donald Trump, were maintained by current President Joe Biden, who arrived at the White House in January.
Starting tomorrow, according to the White House, foreigners wishing to enter the United States for visits considered non-essential, such as tourism or for family get-togethers, will be able to do so either by air or across the land borders of Mexico and Canada.
International travelers who are vaccinated and flying from countries previously subject to travel restrictions due to the pandemic, a list that included the 26 European states in the Schengen area, in addition to the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, and India.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicts that “due to the increased volume of travelers, waiting times at customs will be prolonged”, so it recommends that they have the documents in hand and that they have “patience”, as indicated in a statement released last week.
Russian and Chinese vaccines are not accepted
The opening of the borders comes after the United States has reached 70% of its adult population fully vaccinated, and with the administration of booster doses for those over 65, and with the vaccination of children between five and 11 years old starting this week.
The United States will accept all vaccines licensed by the World Health Organization (WHO), including AstraZeneca.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers a person to be “fully vaccinated” if it has been 14 days since receiving a single-dose vaccine or having received the second inoculation of a two-dose vaccine.
For now, the WHO has not authorized some of the vaccines that are being administered in Latin America, such as the Russian Sputnik V and the Chinese CanSino.
In addition to mandatory vaccination, international passengers must have a negative covid test (PCR or antigens) performed three days prior to travel to the United States.
Fully vaccinated international travelers must not be in quarantine upon arrival in the United States, but must provide contact information to facilitate tracing in the event of contagion.
Children ages 2 to 17 do not need to be vaccinated to enter the United States, but must meet the condition of having a negative covid-19 test taken three days prior to travel.
Children under 2 years of age are exempt from both the vaccine and the test.
Source: with agencies