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New COVID travel restrictions for foreign travelers to the United States

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The Department of Homeland Security’s new restrictions will only apply to non-US citizens.

BLAINE, Washington. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin requiring all essential and non-essential aliens entering the United States to be fully vaccinated on Saturday, January 22.

The restrictions we first announced in October 2021 will not apply to US citizens, lawful permanent residents, or US nationals.

These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating cross-border trade and travel that is essential to our economy, Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. in a press release.

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The new requirements come amid a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most transmissible variant ever seen in omicron wreaking havoc across the country and the world.

Foreign travelers entering the United States will need to do the following:

Verbally attest to their COVID vaccination statusProvide proof of a vaccine approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document, such as a passport or a Trusted Traveler Program card Be ready to present any other relevant documents

The only three vaccines approved by the CDC are the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. A negative COVID test is not required.

DHS gave no indication that the restrictions would be lifted.

Meanwhile, the new restrictions could further complicate supply chain issues since unvaccinated Canadian truckers will not be allowed into the country.

U.S. citizens making non-essential travel to Canada must also be fully immunized and follow pre-entry testing and entry requirements.

Those traveling to Canada may also be randomly selected by border officials for an arrival test.

Sources

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