Skepticism is understandable at this point. However, the United States will end blanket travel bans for European and British visitors. Finally, after months of waiting, there is a date.
Here's what you can expect ahead of the announcement.
There will be big airline sales following the big news.
US drops blanket travel bans on November 8th
According to speculation, the United States will no longer have blanket travel bans that affect entire countries or regions. Instead, it will adopt more scientific and nuance-based approaches that allow entry for all fully vaccinated visitors starting November 8th 2021.
You can travel to the US as a visitor again from that date (don't forget your ESTA). However, only if you are fully vaccinated, or younger than 18, if not.
According to the FT the plans will be part of a larger framework designed to reshape US Travel Policy, which was introduced by the Biden Administration. It includes more contact tracing with airlines providing email address and phone numbers.
The new system requires that all visitors have been vaccinated within three days of their arrival and must take a negative test. This is it. The test can be either antigen or PCR. It can also be approved at home if it is supervised by a physician.
Unvaccinated Americans would require a negative test within 24 hour of their departure from the United States. A post-arrival test would also be required.
Initial concerns were that any changes involving working groups and new systems for travel to the USA would take months. However, this does not seem to be the case. We now have details on which vaccines are eligible.
The United States will allow Britons, Europeans, and others from other parts of the world to travel to the United States again. This is provided that they have been fully vaccinated and can show proof. They will only need to pass a test before they can travel.
Travel bans will be lifted starting November 8th. According to the news, US travel bookings have increased by 700%. Masks will still be required for flights, at least until January, but that date is likely extended.
Approved Vaccines For US Travel
The US has clarified which vaccines will be accepted. This is a huge boost for travel plans for those who have been vaccinated in other countries or who are not eligible for a US vaccine. The official US Travel Resource has more information on this list.
In other words, if the vaccine has been accepted by the US or the WHO, it will be allowed for entry into the United States. It is possible to mix and match vaccines that have been completed. Children under 18 travelling with an adult are not required to be fully vaccinated, but they must be tested before leaving.
According to the FT, those who participate in UK clinical trials are likely to be fully vaccinated by the United States.
Flexible Travel Policies: Take Advantage
Many hotels and airlines still offer flexibility policies that allow you to change dates without having to pay any fees.
Despite all the positive news and rising vaccination rates, these policies will likely be repealed sooner than expected. Major sales will likely follow because airlines have been eager for the US's to lift blanket bans that had been in place for Europe and the UK. Personally, I'm waiting for Black Friday & Cyber Tuesday.
While it might be worthwhile to take advantage of the low flight prices, which offer more flexibility, you must also consider potential sales discounts.
However, the US system for international travel has been reformed. ESTAs are still required for entry. They must be renewed 72 hours prior to departure. It is a good idea to have a valid ESTA before you book any trip.