US lifts restrictions on international travel

The United States will, “at the beginning of November”, on vaccinated people, lift restrictions that have weighed since March 2020 on international travel, the maintenance of which has upset many of its partners, the Europeans in the lead.

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Within eighteen months, the “travel ban” has caused countless distressing personal and family situations, which are now separated by hundreds of thousands of people.

In addition to showing evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, travelers will need to get tested within three days before their trip to the United States, and wear a mask, White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zents said at a news conference outlining the new guidelines. protocol.

A traveler tracking system will be set up by the airlines, which will have to collect information that will enable them to contact them.

The timely announcement comes in the context of high tension between France and the United States over the sale of submarines, but Jeff Zents, without commenting on a possible diplomatic target, insisted that the decision itself was “dictated by science”.

Washington is lifting restrictions that since March 2020 have been for travelers from the European Union, the United Kingdom or China, and later advanced to India or Brazil.

But the White House did not immediately specify which vaccines would be allowed into the US.

This is far from a detail: many Britons and Europeans have received AstraZeneca, a vaccine not recognized in the US where only Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines exist.

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The Chinese have developed their own serum, just like the Russians.

twenty months

According to Jeff Zents, the White House wanted to create a coherent world order based on “individuals” and not on differences in treatment depending on the country of origin.

While President Donald Trump initially closed the borders for thirty days, the restrictions will continue for twenty months.

To the dismay of the European states in particular, which had reopened their borders to immunized Americans and who were alarmed by this lack of reciprocity.

Germany and the United Kingdom very quickly welcomed the US decision on Monday.

“Great news – for German and European investments, our exports and the entire transatlantic relationship,” Olaf Schulz, German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister, said on Twitter.

“Good news for travelers from the UK to the US,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Twitter. “This is important to our economic recovery, our families and our trade.”

The decision, which will allow for family reunification and which was demanded by many netizens under the slogan #LoveIsNotTourism (“Love is not tourism”), also pleased the airlines.

The European Airlines Association for Europe tweeted its satisfaction, saying “I applaud” the announcement, which will “give a much-needed boost to transatlantic travel”.

Jeff Zents also explained that unvaccinated Americans who return to the United States after staying abroad will be subject to stricter testing obligations.

They will be required to take the test within the day prior to their return, not within three days, and to be retested again after they arrive on US soil.

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The White House has toughened its tone in recent weeks in the face of anti-vaccination resistance in the country and has doubled down on advertisements to enforce it where federal authorities have the means, or at least to aggressively encourage it.

However, it has not yet made one of the most radical decisions in its power, which is to impose vaccination on domestic flights in the United States.

The lifting of restrictions announced on Monday also does not apply to the US land borders with Canada and Mexico, which remain closed to “non-essential” travel except for US citizens.

Zenz said those restrictions, which will be extended month by month, will be in effect at least until October 21.

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