Travellers from European countries who have been immunized against COVID-19 with vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization will be allowed to enter the United States as soon as the latter’s government lifts the ban imposed on arrivals from Europe.
Such a decision confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means that European citizens fully immunized with one of the following vaccines will be permitted to enter the US territory once the entry ban is officially lifted:
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
- AstraZeneca, including Covishield
- Sinopharm (Beijing)
Last month, the White House announced that authorities in the United States would lift the entry ban imposed on travellers from 26 Schengen Zone countries, as well as those from European countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, travel restrictions that have been kept in place by US authorities since the beginning of the pandemic in order to stop the further spread of the virus have also affected travellers from China, India, Brazil, and the UK, among others.
However, despite the announcement that the government would finally permit vaccinated travellers from a large number of countries to enter the US territory, it was not specified which vaccines would be accepted as valid proof of immunity.
In this regard, a CDC spokeswoman recently told Reuters that “six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US.”
On Friday, CDC stressed that “earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems we informed airlines of the vaccines that would be accepted,” while stressing that “CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized.”
In order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, in March 2020, former US President, Donald Trump, imposed travel restrictions for a large number of countries, including most European countries. Then President Joe Biden further prolonged such a policy early in his terms.
In July, President Biden indicated that the ban imposed on travel from Europe could soon be abolished, raising European travellers’ hopes.
The US’s authorities’ decision has continuously been criticized by European governments and organizations.
On June 28, the European Council included the US in the list of countries considered safe based on their epidemiological situation, permitting travellers from the US to enter most European countries without being subject to additional requirements such as testing and self-isolation rules.
Then, on August 30, the Council removed the US from the safe list, calling on its Member States to impose stricter rules for travellers from the US and even ban non-essential travel.
However, several EU countries’ governments clarified that they would not follow the recommendation of the Council while keeping the doors open for vaccinated travellers from the US.
On the other hand, since the beginning of the pandemic, the US authorities have kept in place strict entry rules for arrivals from European countries, banning entry for them for over 18 months now.
The abolishment of the entry ban would bring many benefits for carriers on both sides of the Atlantic.