U.S. to require contact tracing, Covid tests when international visitor curbs lift next month

Travelers wear a mask to check their phones on the arrivals floor at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This is in spite of increased Covid-19 travel restrictions that were implemented on January 25, 2021 in Los Angeles.
The White House announced Monday that it will require all airlines to verify proof of Covid-19 vaccination for U.S. travelers and to provide contact information to federal officials. This is part of the new rules to lift international travel restrictions due to pandemics.

Biden's administration announced earlier this month that it will lift the pandemic restrictions which barred most tourists from dozens of nations, including Brazil and the U.K., starting Nov. 8. This will allow for vaccinations to be given to all travelers. These rules were first put in place by Trump in early 2020, and then expanded by the Biden administration this past year.

A second change is that all inbound travelers to the United States, including citizens of the United States, will need to present proof of a negative Covid test. This can be taken up from three days ago. Visitors and citizens who have been vaccinated will still need to present proof that a negative Covid test was performed within three days after departure.

Senior Biden administration officials stated that there will be exemptions from the vaccination requirements for foreign tourists, such as travelers under 18 years old or those with medical reasons that prevent them from getting vaccines. Nontourist visa holders from low-vaccine countries are also exempt. If they travel with an adult who is fully vaccinated, foreign visitors aged 2-17 years must still undergo a Covid test before departing.

Hotels, airlines and other travel companies have been urging the U.S. government to open its borders for over a year. These restrictions were imposed by the U.S. in the early 2020s, shortly after the onset of the Covid pandemic.

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