The United States government announced that all international air travellers would no longer be required to provide proof of vaccinations beginning 11 May 2023.
On the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency is formally lifted, this ruling will go into effect, affecting not just the responsibilities of US federal employees and contractors but also those in special education and healthcare sectors.
The Biden-Harris Administration said in a statement that the vaccination requirements were in place for certain international travellers “to slow the spread of new variants entering the country and to allow our healthcare system time to effectively manage access to care if faced with an increase in cases and hospitalisations.”
The United States is one of the few countries still with pandemic travel restrictions.
According to the White House statement, its COVID-19 immunisation legislation resulted in almost 270 million Americans receiving at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and a more extensive vaccination programme “saved millions of lives.”
“We are now in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary,” it added.
This adjustment will allow Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, 35, to compete in this year’s US Open.
Last year’s event was cancelled because the 22-time Grand Slam winner was not vaccinated.
He had similar troubles with the Australian Open in 2022 when he was deported due to his vaccination status before being able to defend his championship.
The new rule also applies to visitors entering the United States by land and water, which should enhance cruise tourism and those entering the country by road from Canada.
US Congressman Brian Higgins, whose district in Western New York borders sections of Ontario (Canada), claimed vaccination regulations had previously “separated families and hampered economic recovery.”
“While long overdue, this last lifting of pandemic restrictions is certainly welcome news and critically important as we seek opportunities to encourage robust cross-border exchange that delivers shared prosperity,” he said.
IN FEBRUARY, the US House of Representatives voted to repeal the requirement that only fully vaccinated travellers might enter the country. However, the loosening of laws did not proceed.
Canada dropped Covid-19 vaccination requirements for international air travellers in October last year.