IATA lauds Biden’s decision to allow vaccinated travelers enter US

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has lauded the decision of the Joe Biden led-administration to allow vaccinated travelers to enter the United States with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.

This was disclosed by IATA in a statement issued on Monday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the agency, the development supersedes the so-called 212f restrictions, which prevented anyone from entering the US if they had been in 33 specific countries including the UK, Ireland, all Schengen countries, Brazil, South Africa, India, and China within the last 14 days.

What IATA is saying about the US’ decision

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, stated, “The announcement is a major step forward. Allowing access to the US for those vaccinated will open travel to the US for many who have been locked out for the past 18 months.

“This is excellent news for families and loved ones who have suffered through the heartache and loneliness of separation. It’s good for the millions of livelihoods in the US that depend on global tourism. And it will boost the economic recovery by enabling some key business travel markets.

“This announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations at the national level to assessment of individual risk. The next challenge is finding a system to manage the risks for travellers who do not have access to vaccinations.

“Data points to testing as a solution. But it is also critical that governments accelerate the global rollout of vaccines and agree on a global framework for travel where testing resources are focused on unvaccinated travelers. We must get back to a situation where the freedom to travel is available to all.”

What you should know

Most of the world’s countries are open to travellers from the United States, but as variants cause Covid-19 cases to surge in the United States and elsewhere, some places including parts of Europe are resuming restrictions like pre-arrival testing, quarantine and even travel bans.

The European Union recently removed the United States from its “safe list” for nonessential visitors, resulting in Americans facing more challenges entering some of its 27-member countries.

In June, when coronavirus cases in the United States dipped to about 80,000 new diagnoses per week, the bloc named the United States a “green country.” But in late August, after a 12-fold increase in new cases in the United States to nearly a million per week, the European Union recommended a return to the “red country” designation.

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