Foreign travelers with COVID-19 vaccines approved by FDA, WHO can enter the US in November
Foreign tourists vaccinated against COVID-19 with a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization will get the green light to enter the United States in November, according to a spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems, we informed airlines that the vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S.," CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey told USA TODAY.
The FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use during the pandemic: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech, the last of which has received the FDA's full stamp of approval. The WHOgranted approval for those three as well as the Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
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Shockey did not say how, or if, travelers who had received vaccines not approved by the WHO would be able to enter the U.S. for tourism purposes.
"CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized," she said in an emailed statement.
The U.S. announced on Sept. 20 it would be introducing a new international air travel system in "early November" that would open travel for vaccinated foreign nationals. The initial announcement did not say which vaccines would be accepted, although health officials had previously told USA TODAY the CDC would likely allow those approved by the WHO.
Officials have yet to announce when restrictions will officially lift, to the dismay of many travelers.
What are the entry requirements for foreign travelers?
Foreign travelers will need to show proof of full vaccination prior to boarding U.S.-bound planes. A COVID-19 test will also be required within three days of departure and proof of negative results must be shown. Enhanced contact tracing and masking will also be required, but there will be no quarantine mandate.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said unvaccinated children of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals will be subject to the stricter new testing requirements. Today, children ages 2 and older boarding international flights to the United States must show proof of a negative test taken three days before boarding.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.