Kids under 18 will not have to be vaccinated to enter the US when Biden lifts foreign travel restrictions on Nov 8
- The approved vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac
- Rules take effect next month
- All kids under 18 are exempt from vaccine requirements
- 50 countries with low vax rates also qualify for exemptions, but residents need a ‘compelling’ reason to come
Children 18 and under will get a blanket exemption from the administration’s new vaccine requirement on international travelers visiting the U.S. that goes into effect Nov. 8th.
The administration created the exception due to different rules and availability for vaccines for kids in other countries, officials said Monday.
Also getting a carve-out are citizens from 50 countries where less than 10 per cent of people are vaccinated ‘due to the lack of availability of vaccines.’
Residents from these countries, drawn from a list maintained by the World Health Organization, will still need to present proof of a negative COVID test, as would all international travelers, including US citizens.
The new rules are to establish the details of a plan the administration announced in September when President Biden lifted the travel ban on visitors from Europe, the UK, and other countries. It had been in place since the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic.
New administration rules for air travelers entering the U.S. include an exemption for children under 18
But they would need a compelling reason to come and a letter to show for it. They would not be eligibile for an ordinary tourist visa.
The administration is making the outlines of the new policy available, after announcing it weeks ago, as it tries to battle the Delta variant and keep positive numbers down in the US.
‘Preventing people from getting sick, hospitalized and dying of covid is a top, top priority,’ said a senior administration official on a media call. The administration is doing ‘everything we can do to incentivize that process reduces the amount of virus that is circulating,’ said the official, who could not be identified by name under ground rules of the call imposed by the administration.
The administration characterized ‘very limited exceptions’ to the policy, including the one from the 50 countries, which would be very limited.
‘These have been crafted to be narrow,’ said an administration official. Children under two do not need to be vaccinated.
Kids are not required to be vaccinated, although their parents are – with numerous exceptions
Fully vaccinated passengers will have to show a negative covid test ‘regardless of citizenship.’
For vaccinated Americans, the window for the test will be three-days before travel. For unvaccinated air passengers, including US citizens and Green Card holders, the new rules will require a test within a day prior to departure.
Air passengers will have to furnish valid contact information to the airlines, who will collect it in case of the need for contact tracing in the event of an exposure. The airlines also are charged with verifying the vaccine status documents, which they are to do by verifying date of birth information.
It was not clear whether they would be responsible for verifying the validity of the vaccine in any other ways.
The approved vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac.