The White House Announces New COVID-19 Protocols for International Visitors

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Posted: Oct 27, 2021 11:45 AM
The White House Announces New COVID-19 Protocols for International Visitors

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File

The United States will roll out new Wuhan coronavirus protocols beginning Nov. 8 for international visitors, the White House announced Monday. Among these will include mandatory COVID-19 testing regardless of vaccination status.

According to the fact sheet released by the White House, starting Nov. 8, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers inbound to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding their flight. Unvaccinated inbound travelers, including American citizens, are required to test negative for COVID-19 within one day of departure. Vaccinated travelers must also produce a negative test result, but within three days of departure. 

The sheet notes that children under age 18 are excepted from the vaccination requirement for foreign national travelers. However, children ages two to 17 are subject to take and produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. If a child is traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, the deadline for the negative COVID-19 test is three days. If they are traveling with an unvaccinated adult, the deadline is one day.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing a Contract Tracing Order that requires airlines inbound to the United States to keep record of contact information of passengers. If needed, airlines will need to provide this information to federal officials to follow-up with visitors who contract COVID-19 or come into contact with someone who is infected. 

“This is a critical public health measure both to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of new variants of COVID-19 as well as to add a critical prevention tool to address other public health threats,” the fact sheet reads. “This updated policy puts in place an international travel system that is stringent, consistent across the globe, and guided by public health.”

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