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On Monday, May 1, 2023, The White House announced that it would soon end a longstanding requirement for foreign travelers entering the U.S. from abroad.
As of May 11, 2023, foreign nationals will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when flying to the U.S. from outside of the country.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know.
Vaccine Requirement for Foreigners Ending May 11
The U.S. has had a vaccine requirement for travelers entering the country by air in place since 2021. In recent months, the White House has come under increasing pressure from numerous groups to lift the requirements who say they hamper the nation’s economic recovery.
The vaccination requirement for international visitors ends next Thursday, May 11, 2023, the same day the COVID-19 public health emergency officially ends across the country. Vaccine requirements for other groups, including federal employees and contractors, will end the same day.
The U.S. is one of the last remaining countries to impose such restrictions on foreign visitors. Japan, another holdout, lifted its final restrictions last week.Hot Tip:
Planning an international trip? Check out our complete guide to packing so you can be sure you’ll have everything you need while traveling.
“Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place,” The White House said in a statement.
After the final restrictions are lifted in the U.S., it stands to reason that the nation will see an influx of visitors to its borders, as this is a significant hurdle to overcome for those non-citizens who aren’t vaccinated, for whatever reason.
The lifting of the vaccine requirement marks the end of any COVID-19-related restrictions in the U.S. Hospitalization rates and deaths due to the virus are down over 90%, according to the White House, and the government’s public health emergency is coming to an end, so it’s a logical point to end travel restrictions for foreign visitors to the country.
Time will tell whether the lifting of these restrictions will lead to a sustained influx of visitors, but there’s no doubt it’s soon going to become much easier for citizens of other nations to visit the U.S.
Featured Image Credit: Ozzy Trevino, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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