Washington (dpa) – According to media reports, the US wants to require proof of a full corona vaccination from almost all foreigners when entering the country.
At the same time, however, current entry restrictions on people from Europe and other countries should be lifted, the New York Times reported, citing White House circles. Initially, there was no official statement. It also remained unclear when the amended regulations could enter into force.
The US announced last week that it would comply with the travel restrictions imposed due to the corona pandemic. The reason, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, gave the increasing number of corona cases due to the more contagious Delta variant. In addition to business, tourism is also affected by the extensive entry ban. The German economy has also been putting pressure on this issue for a long time.
New travel strategy
When Chancellor Angela Merkel visited in mid-July, US President Joe Biden announced an imminent decision on the subject of access restrictions. This had sparked hopes for an easing among many – who were subsequently disappointed again. According to the reports, the authorities were now working on a plan for a stable and safe international travel strategy. The aim is to have a new system ready for when travel can resume.
The practical implementation should still be relatively unclear – including the question of which vaccination certificates will be recognised. It has also not yet been decided whether the US authorities will only accept vaccinations with preparations that are also approved in the US. It would also be possible to benchmark approval by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the US, only vaccines from the manufacturers Moderna, Biontech/Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are allowed – but not Astrazeneca, for example. It is therefore also unclear what the regulation looks like if someone has been injected with different drugs – for example Biontech/Pfizer and Astrazeneca.
Strict entry ban
In the US, a far-reaching entry ban for Europeans has been in place since last year because of the pandemic. Holders of US passports and some other groups of people, such as close relatives of Americans, diplomats and employees of international organizations, are excluded. Entries from China, South Africa and Brazil are also limited to exceptions. All passengers must be able to show a negative corona test upon entry into the US.
In June, the European Union added the United States to its list of third countries that should no longer have strict entry restrictions. The EU therefore calls on Washington to lift the restrictions quickly. “We insist that there are similar rules in both directions for travelers,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently told the editorial network Germany (RND). “That shouldn’t take weeks.”
The fact that the US has not yet relaxed restrictions on travelers from Europe in return has led to criticism from, among others, the German economy. Before Merkel’s meeting with Biden, industry and tourism, as well as vacationers, had hoped for movement on the subject. Biden wasn’t very specific at the joint press conference – but at least had promised an early announcement.
Meanwhile, the situation has significantly improved given the ongoing vaccination campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. Due to the delta variant, the number of cases is rising again sharply in both the US and Europe. The US is no longer making as fast progress with vaccination as hoped. So far, nearly 50 percent of the total population of about 330 million people have been fully vaccinated, about 58 percent have received at least the first injection.