Adults who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents and want to fly to the U.S. on or after November 8 will have to be fully vaccinated, as per a new Presidential Proclamation signed by U.S. President Joe Biden. All foreigners traveling (those who are not U.S. citizens, immigrants, or green card holders) to the U.S. must be fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test. Vaccine passports are not being implemented, and the vetting process will be left up to the airline. “For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines will be accepted that include the FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listed vaccines,” a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call on Monday.
Covishield – a version of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India – is on the WHO list, while the world health body is meeting on Tuesday to make a determination on whether to add another Indian vaccine, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, to the list.
The proclamation, which also includes pre-travel testing specifications, has been expected for weeks. Additionally, it will harmonize disparate, country-specific rules. For some jurisdictions and countries, including India, Brazil, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the U.K., where entry into the U.S. has been the exception to the rule, it will mean a significant easing of restrictions.
Who is exempt from the new vaccination rule
Children traveling under 18 are exempt from the entry requirement to be fully vaccinated, as many countries have not permitted children to get vaccines on the CDC list. Unvaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents (“green card” holders) will be required to show a negative test within a day of departure of their flights to the U.S., a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call. Only a few exemptions will exist for non-U.S. citizens and residents, with most being barred from entry (these exempt individuals will also have to show a negative test taken one day prior to travel).