White House announcement: President Biden to remove travel bans in lieu of Covid-19 vaccination proof starting November, 2021

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Today, the White House announced that it is plans to ease travel restrictions on all international travelers coming into the United States in a move to deter the spread of COVID-19 based on individuals, rather than restrictions placed on entire countries or regions. This implementation should start beginning in early November 2021. The President will rescind the current country specific restrictions in place that affect many countries, including India, South Africa, The UK & Ireland and Schengen Countries. This is a smart and more effective way to handle the covid pandemic and balance the need for international travel to the United States.

All international travelers will be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding a flight to the United States. Which vaccines will be accepted will be determined by the CDC and posted for the public.

Limited exceptions such as for children; COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants; and humanitarian exceptions for people traveling for an important reason and who lack access to vaccination in a timely manner will be available. Individuals who are exempted from the vaccine requirement may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival.

The administration will also be making additional recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19, including 1) continuing the mask mandate through January 18, 2022; 2) expanding pre-departure and post-arrival testing requirements; and 3) implanting a contact tracing order for airlines.

United States International Travel Implementations:

*Starting in early November, foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to show proof of vaccination prior to boarding an airplane;

*The current requirement for everyone to show proof of a negative test taken within 3 days of boarding a flight will remain in place for all fully vaccinated travelers.

*CDC will continue to strongly recommend against air travel by Americans who are not fully vaccinated; however, all unvaccinated travelers who return to the United States and are not fully vaccinated will be required to, prior to boarding an airplane:

*Provide proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure;

*Provide proof that they have purchased a viral test to be taken after arrival.

*CDC will also issue a Contact Tracing Order that will require airlines to collect comprehensive contact information for every passenger coming to the United States and to provide that information promptly to CDC upon request, to follow up with travelers who have been exposed to COVID-19 variants or other pathogens.

*These requirements will apply globally to all travelers (minus exceptions).

Attorney Dev Banad Viswanath will be in India, working out of the Bangalore and Mumbai offices from September 27th through October 15th, if anyone would like to schedule a consultation to discuss their immigration or visa matters.

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