Covid: U.S. borders to reopen to vaccinated travelers?

Published by Caroline J., Cécile D. · Updated on 5 August 2021 at 10h28 · Published on 5 August 2021 at 09h04
TO date, travelers from Europe, India, Brazil and China are not allowed to enter the United States excluding precise pressing matter. But when will the United-States plan to welcome tourists again? The country is said to consider eventually reopening borders to fully vaccinated travelers. This is what one of the White House representatives said on August 4.

All along the pandemic, the United States of America has kept strict measures when it comes to their borders: in March 2020, a “travel ban” has been instated by the Trump administration to limit the number of travelers between the U.S. and Europe. Since then, many people have been expected restrictions to be lifted. But it will not happen anytime soon. This July 26, the White House announced the U.S. borders stay closed to EU tourists, even if they are vaccinated. Why? The spread of the Delta variant in most of the world.

Since then, things seem to have improved. On August 4, 2021, a White House representative told AFP the United States is considering eventually reopening borders to vaccinated travelers. According to this source, Washington is preparing a "a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States - from all countries - need to be fully vaccinated". Still according to this representative, work groups dedicated to this issue are developing "a policy and planning process to be prepared for when the time is right to transition to this new system". Yet, no U.S. border reopening date has been specified.

Yet, in early July Joe Biden claimed he was in talks to know if he could lift restrictions. “I’m waiting to hear from our folks in our COVID team as to when that should be done”, the American president said, according to press agency Reuters.

Angela Merkel reacted to this statement, saying the reopening of borders must be given thoughts and long-lasting: “Before such a decision, one has to reflect. It's not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days”.

Unfortunately, because of the health situation deteriorating in Europe because of the Delta variant, the American administration has decided to keep the borders closed, and not lift the Travel Ban. A decision annoying some people, while U.S. tourists have been allowed to travel in Europe since June.

For the record, right now, only green card-holder or American passport holder can travel to the United States. Are also allowed those holding a “NIE” document: a national interest exception document. Only students, academics, journalists, travelers for humanitarian purpose, public health or in the interest of the national security of the United States can fill a request.

EU tourists must then wait to travel to the other side of the Atlantic.

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