The White House announced on Friday that it will lift travel restrictions for overseas visitors put in place according to the COVID-19 protocol beginning from November 8, 2021. As per new regulations, fully vaccinated overseas visitors will be able to enter the USA.
Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US, clarified later on Friday that it will approve mixed-dose vaccination from foreign travellers. The fresh rule will apply to all overseas visitors crossing land borders and international air travel.
The decision comes after Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat representing a district along the Canadian border, had asked the CDC if it would consider travellers who have received the mixed vaccine doses as fully vaccinated, stating that “nearly four million Canadians, equivalent to 10% of their fully vaccinated population, have received mixed doses of the available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines – this includes the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
A CDC spokesperson has asserted that the organisation does not recommend mixing different vaccine doses. However, it will continue to recognise mixed doses as appropriate vaccination records in the light of it being a common practice in many countries.
CDC had notified last week that it would accept all vaccines authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or granted the Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organisation under the new system.
Under Emergency Use Listing, the US will allow travellers to enter the country who have been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine (AZN.L) widely used in the UK, as well as Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines used in China. It will also accept Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine.
This move by the American Government marks the end of what came to be known as some of the strictest travel restrictions imposed, barring almost all non-US citizens from entering the country for over 21 months.
The current rules restrict the entry of most non-US citizens who have been in the UK, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil or a number of European countries within the last 14 days.