A brand new journey coverage requiring international nationals touring to the United States to exhibit proof of full vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 will take impact November 8, as introduced by the White House on October 15. The accepted vaccines will embody FDA-approved or licensed vaccines and WHO emergency use vaccines. In mild of this announcement, many US consular posts are now not processing National Interest Exceptions besides in emergency conditions.
These vaccine necessities are anticipated to exchange the admission restrictions in place since 2020, which limit entry to the United States for people who’ve been current within the following nations throughout the 14-day interval previous their admission: Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Schengen Area nations (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland). Once the present restrictions are changed by the brand new coverage, there’ll now not be a necessity for National Interest Exceptions to the present restrictions.
Based on preliminary info from the White House and the State Department, underneath the brand new coverage, people should be totally vaccinated with vaccines accepted or licensed for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or these which have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO), which at the moment embody Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya National Center, has not but been licensed. Certain AstraZeneca and Novavax COVID-19 vaccine scientific trial contributors additionally qualify for entry underneath the brand new steerage. Under present tips, people are thought of “fully vaccinated” after completion of a two-week interval following the second dose of a two-dose sequence (akin to Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines), or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). The CDC has not issued formal advice or approval for the administration of blended vaccines from totally different producers, akin to receiving the primary dose of a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the second dose of a Moderna vaccine, however upcoming steerage is anticipated to supply clarification.
A authorities interagency taskforce is working to develop the orders and steerage paperwork to implement this new journey coverage, and people particulars—for the airways, airline passengers, passengers utilizing different technique of conveyance, and other people coming to land borders—are anticipated to be made public nicely upfront of November 8 so that each one stakeholders can perceive what’s required to be in compliance.
The White House announcement particularly identifies “foreign nationals traveling to the United States” as the themes of this new journey coverage. Accordingly, Morgan Lewis’s interpretation is that US residents and lawful everlasting residents is not going to be required to supply proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
The new vaccine necessities, whereas apparently changing the country-based restrictions on admissibility, should not anticipated to vary present CDC worldwide journey necessities requiring COVID-19 testing. As of January 26, 2021, worldwide air passengers, no matter citizenship standing, must get a viral take a look at not more than three days earlier than journey by air into the United States and present a detrimental end result to the airline earlier than boarding a flight or be ready to indicate documentation of restoration—proof of a current optimistic viral take a look at and a letter from a healthcare supplier or a public well being official indicating clearance for journey.
As the Biden-Harris administration gives additional steerage on the formal admission necessities, we are going to publish extra updates.