Biden moving toward reopening U.S. to foreign travel, with vaccine requirement

International arrivals
International arrivals Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden has kept in place most of the COVID-19 travel restrictions enacted by his predecessor, but his administration is taking the first steps toward reopening the U.S. to foreign visitors, a White House official told The Washington Post and The Associated Press on Wednesday night. After a phased opening, "eventually all foreign citizens entering the country, with some limited exceptions, are expected to need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S.," AP reports.

Even as other countries have opened up travel to fully vaccinated American visitors, the U.S. still bans entry to non-U.S. residents who have been to China, the European Union, Britain, Ireland, Brazil, India, and South Africa in the previous 14 days. U.S. allies, the airline and tourism industry, and Americans with family overseas have been pressing the Biden administration to ease travel restrictions, and agencies throughout the U.S. government are working to make that happen safely, for fully vaccinated foreigners, eventually.

The details of the vaccination requirement will be settled "when the time is right to transition to this new system," a White House official told the Post. No timeline has been announced.

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