U.S. Ends Last Covid Travel Barrier, Vaccine Mandate for Foreign Arrivals

U.S. Ends Last Covid Travel Barrier, Vaccine Mandate for Foreign Arrivals

Why it matters: Many other countries have loosened restrictions.

During the peak of the pandemic the U.S. shut its borders to foreign travelers for 18 months, separating many families and costing billions of dollars to the travel industry.

In November 2021 these restrictions were relaxed, and international travellers were welcomed with much fanfare back into the United States. Foreign travelers still had to take a coronavirus screening and be vaccinated within three days before traveling to any U.S. port of entry. The administration kept the vaccinations and dropped the testing rule last June, but argued they were necessary to prevent the entry of new virus variants into the country.

The United States was one of only a few countries that still imposed travel restrictions on coronavirus. This led many travelers to seek out other destinations where they are welcomed unconditionally.

The rules prohibited the world's no. Novak Djokovic is barred from playing in the U.S. Open 2022 as he has not been vaccinated.

Background: Foreign travelers' spending in the U.S. is still behind.

According to an industry group, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the initial U.S. ban on international travel decimated U.S. tourism and led to a loss of nearly $300 billion dollars in visitor spending, and over one million American jobs.

Up until April of last year, passengers flying to or from the U.S. had to wear masks. This controversial requirement led to fights and other incidents on planes. It also discouraged some international travelers to take long-haul flights.

The group stated that even after restrictions were lifted, international travel spending in the U.S. in March 2022 was down by 78 per cent compared to the levels of 2019 and by 56 per cent for business trips.

Geoff Freeman said, in a press release, that the decision to end the requirement for vaccines on May 11 was a positive step forward for the industry and the country.