US To End COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements For International Travellers From Next Week

A health worker passes by the area where people get vaccinated at a hospital in the US.

A health worker passes by the area where people get vaccinated at a hospital in the US.   -  Copyright  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Euronews Travel  with Reuters

The vaccine mandate is one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place.

The United States will end its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international travellers and federal workers on 11 May, the White House said on Monday.

This is when the coronavirus public health emergency officially ends.

In February, the US House of Representatives voted to lift the requirement that most foreign air travellers be vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place.

The White House said that it had put in place vaccination requirements to slow the spread of new variants entering the country and to allow the US healthcare system time to effectively manage access to care if faced with an increase in cases and hospitalisations.

"While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary," it said in a statement. 

The Biden administration last June dropped its requirement that people arriving in the US by air must test negative for COVID. But it kept in place Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination requirements for most foreign travellers.

The rules barred Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic from taking part in some US tournaments because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. From 12 May he could freely enter and play in major American tournaments like the US Open.

The Homeland Security Department also said Monday starting 12 May it will no longer require non-US travellers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferries to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination upon request.

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