Children 18 and under will get a blanket exemption from the administration’s new vaccine requirement on international travelers visiting the U.S. that goes into effect Nov. 8th.
Officials Monday said that the administration made the exception because of differences in rules and availability of vaccines for children from other countries.
Citizens from 50 countries where less that 10% of the population is vaccinated are also eligible for a carve out ‘due lack of vaccines’
These residents, drawn from a World Health Organization list, will still need proof of a negative COVID testing, as would all international travellers, including US citizens.
These new rules will establish the details of the plan that the administration announced in September when President Biden lifted travel bans on visitors from Europe, the UK and other countries. It was in place since the Trump administration began the pandemic.
New rules from the Administration for Air Travel to the U.S. allow for an exemption for children aged under 18.
They would need a compelling reason for coming and a letter supporting it. They would not be eligible to apply for a tourist visa.
After announcing the policy weeks ago, the administration is now making the outline of the new policy public. This is in an effort to combat the Delta variant and maintain positive numbers in the US.
A senior administration official said that the top priority is to prevent people from becoming sick, hospitalized or dying of covid. The administration is doing all it can to reduce the spread of virus, according to the official.
The administration described’very few exceptions’ to this policy, including one from the 50 countries. This would be very limited.
According to an administration official, “These have been designed to be narrow.” Children under 2 years old do not need to get vaccinated.
Kids are not required to be vaccinated, although their parents are – with numerous exceptions
Passenger who have been fully vaccinated will need to pass a negative covid test,’regardless’ of their citizenship.
The test window for Americans who have not been vaccinated is three days prior to travel. The new rules will require that unvaccinated passengers flying, including US citizens or Green Card holders, take a test within one day of departure.
Passenger air passengers will need to provide valid contact information to airlines. This information will be collected in case of contact tracing required in the event of exposure. The airlines are also responsible for verifying vaccine status documents. This includes verifying date of birth information.
It was not clear if they would be responsible for checking the validity of vaccines in any other way.
The approved vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac.