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US to require COVID vaccination for foreign travelers from Nov. 8

U.S. President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One at Bradley International Airport on Oct. 15, 2021, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- The United States will require coronavirus vaccination for foreign nationals traveling to the country starting Nov. 8, the White House said Friday, ending entry restrictions against non-U.S. citizens from China, Europe and some other countries that were introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz tweeted that the new policy will apply to both international air travel and land travel. Last month, the White House had said the vaccination requirements slated to begin in early November would affect air travelers.

    Vaccinated air travelers will not be required to quarantine upon entry into the United States.

    As the pandemic accelerated early last year, the United States essentially barred the entry of non-U.S. citizens if they had been in certain countries within the previous 14 days.

    The countries were Brazil, Britain, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and a group of European countries with open-border agreements, such as France, Germany and Italy.

    All air passengers entering the United States have also been required to get a virus test within three days prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights and provide written documentation of their laboratory test results to airlines.

    European countries have been increasingly frustrated with the U.S. travel ban, which has remained in place even as more people have received shots.

    The U.S. government said last month that, under the new rules, foreign nationals boarding U.S.-bound airplanes must show proof that they are fully vaccinated in addition to the existing requirement of testing negative for the novel coronavirus within three days prior to departure.

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