US lifts Covid-19 vaccine requirement

Starting from 12 May, the US will no longer require international travellers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

This latest move brings an end to the policy that has been in place since October 2021.
This latest move brings an end to the policy that has been in place since October 2021. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/lucky-photo ‌

The US is to scrap its longstanding Covid-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international travellers from 12 May, according to the White House.

The Biden administration made the long-awaited announcement on Monday (1 May), which will bring an end to the policy requiring international visitors to the US to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

This vaccination rule has been in place since October 2021 and was further extended by the US government at the start of this year.

“We are announcing that the administration will end the Covid-19 vaccine requirements for federal employees, federal contractors and international air travellers at the end of the day on 11 May, the same day that the Covid-19 public health emergency ends,” said the White House in a statement.

US Travel Association president and CEO Geoff Freeman said the end of the vaccination requirement “eases a significant entry barrier for many global travellers, moving our industry and country forward”.

“However, the return of international visitors should be as efficient and secure as possible,” added Freeman. “The federal government must ensure US airports and other ports of entry are appropriately staffed with Customs and Border Protection officers to meet the growing demand for entry.”

UK airline Virgin Atlantic also welcomed the announcement from the White House at it removed “barriers for frictionless travel” to the US.

“It will give a boost to transatlantic customer demand as a busy summer approaches,” said a spokesperson. “Virgin Atlantic has now resumed services to all of its 12 transatlantic destinations, including new routes to Austin and Tampa and longstanding favourites New York, Orlando and Los Angeles.”

The White House added that the Health and Human Service and Homeland Security departments will also be ending their vaccine requirements for non-citizens arriving at US ports and land borders.

Source: BTN