United States reopens travel to fully vaccinated South Africans.. The United States (US) reopened to fully vaccinated South African travellers on Monday, November 8 but travellers will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before departure.
This ease on US international travel restrictions took place for the first time in almost two years as the US removed its country by country travel restrictions based on vaccination statuses of travellers.
According to Business Tech, this means that the United States will be admitting fully vaccinated foreign air travellers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe – including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece – as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, and South Africa.
Airlines have reported an increase in bookings to the US and also an expected immediate surge in travellers, way before the peak holiday period, reports CNBC.
The new system has provided the following rules:
- Foreign national air travellers to the US will be required to be fully vaccinated;
- Travellers must provide proof of vaccination status before boarding an aeroplane to fly, with only limited exceptions;
- Vaccines accepted will include those FDA approved or authorised, as well as vaccines with an emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO);
- Fully vaccinated air travellers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding;
- This includes all travellers – US citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals;
- The new rules do not require foreign visitors or Americans entering the country to go into quarantine.
Unvaccinated travellers will be allowed only if they are either US citizens or permanent residents returning to the States, or are a part of explicitly exempt groups.
However, Reuters reported there are expected to be empty seats on many of these international flights on Monday and the passenger volume is expected to remain high in the next couple of weeks.
Delta Airlines have confirmed that in the six weeks since the US reopening, it was announced that there was a 450% increase in international point of sale bookings versus the six weeks prior to the announcement. Airlines have also warned that there will likely be long queues at first as checking vaccination documentation for international travellers are mandatory as well as the COVID-19 test results.
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