Today, October 15, 2021, the White House announced that most COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors will be lifted starting on November 8, 2021! The announcement confirms plans proposed last month.

Starting Nov. 8, the United States will admit fully vaccinated foreign air travelers from the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. Moreover, these travelers will not be required to quarantine on arrival. For a little more than 18 months, U.S. restrictions have barred non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.

People who have been jabbed with one of the vaccines that are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or have been granted an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization (WHO) will qualify under the system. That means that in addition to travelers with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, travelers who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in the UK, as well as China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, and the Serum Institute of India Covishield vaccine can enter the U.S..

Non-U.S. air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, and will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show proof of a recent negative test.

The announcement does not specify how travelers will prove their vaccination status. Likely, if a vaccination document is acceptable by the government of the home country, it will also be acceptable in the U.S.. I just returned from Greece, and it accepted a look at my CDC vaccination card as proof of my vaccination status.

Travel is far from returning to the way it was pre pandemic, but at least we are slowly regaining the ability to travel again.