Coronavirus: US opens doors to fully vaccinated international travelers

WASHINGTON — Fully vaccinated tourists from other countries can visit the United States once again after officials lifted international travel restrictions put in place nearly 20 months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to The Associated Press, under new rules that went into effect Monday, air travelers from previously restricted countries – such as Canada, Mexico and much of Europe – can now fly into the U.S. if they provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have tested negative for the illness. Tourists traveling into the country by land from Mexico or Canada also must prove they are fully vaccinated but will not have to provide a negative test, the AP reported.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: US to reopen land borders to fully vaccinated travelers next month

Some groups are exempt from the vaccination requirements, including international travelers under age 18, tourists from countries where vaccines aren’t widely available and those with medical contraindications, according to CNBC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services provide a full list of exemptions here.

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The new rules also tighten testing requirements for unvaccinated air travelers. While vaccinated passengers must show proof of a negative test taken within three days of their flight, unvaccinated tourists must have taken their test no more than one day before departing for the U.S., CNBC reported.

On Sunday, Oxford University’s Our World in Data project reported that so far, 50.9% of people worldwide have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just 4.1% of those in low-income countries. In the U.S., about 67.4% of residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the CDC.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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