US Border is set to Reopen in Early November

09/21/2021



Yesterday's Breaking News – The US is ready to reopen to fully Vaccinated visitors. The much-awaited news was delivered yesterday morning, September 20th by the Biden Administration. This means the current EU-to-USA Travel Ban will cease starting in early November. The US will no longer differentiate based on country of origin, which is what has been happening so far and since March of 2020, instead, all nationalities will be allowed into the US as long as the person has received and can prove his/her full vaccination status. This means a person needs to show proof of two doses or one dose depending on the vaccine that was administered. Of course, international visitors will also need to show all required visas & documents as required by law to enter our country.

Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis announced it on Twitter and the news immediately spread worldwide met with much joy and glee ... Major newspapers & television channels broke the news to their audiences.

Here are some of the Breaking News from around the world –
  • USA Today – US to drop travel ban for vaccinated international travelers starting in early November.
  • France24 – US to end travel ban for fully vaccinated passengers in early November.
  • CNN – US to ease travel restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign visitors.

It was on March 11th, 2020 when the Trump Administration announced the full closure of our borders to all foreign nationals. A never seen before Ban applied to most foreigners denying them entry into the United States for all non-essential reasons. 18 months have passed since then, and all European Countries have been subject to this aforementioned ban ever since. Needless to say, this is the news we have all been waiting for, not only we in the travel industry but all around the world as people have waited almost two years to see relatives and freely travel internationally.


New Rules for entering the US + TBD

The removal of the existing Ban will affect primarily a total of 33 countries - all the countries in the Schengen areas along with Great Britain & Northern Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

It will also marginally affect other countries that up until now might not have been subjected to the existing ban and thus were able to travel to the US by showing a simple Negative Covid-19 Test and not their vaccinations status.

However, the new rules will require all foreign nationals arriving in the United States to present proof of full vaccination status prior to boarding the flight to the US + a negative coronavirus test (PCR or antigen) performed within three days prior to their arrival in the United States. The new rule will come into effect at the beginning of November, a few months from now to allow agencies and airlines to prepare for such changes and implementation.

Which Vaccines will be allowed?

This piece of info is still missing, for sure the three vaccines approved by the FDA will be recognized – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. We do not know if and what other vaccines might be included. At the moment, AstraZeneca, for example, seems to be excluded, however, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC, is set to clarify these rulings in the coming days and weeks. AstraZeneca has been used extensively in Europe and Italy, at least for the first dose and in many cases followed by a second dose of the Pfizer Vaccine. We will update you accordingly as more information becomes available. Again this was much-awaited news as we are not talking about leisure travelers, but also relatives and families that have been separated for almost two years and who can't wait to embrace again.

Full Economic Recovery linked to Tourism

According to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2020 the sector suffered a loss of 500 billion dollars and about the same in 2021. In New York City alone, the lack of tourists has wiped out 89,000 jobs and resulted in a loss of more than $60 billion in revenue. The road to recovery won't be short nor easy but this seems to be a step in the right direction.

We cannot wait to have you all in New York City!

Need help organizing your trip, have questions regarding these new rules? Get in Touch with us!