US reopens for international travellers, here’s all you need to know

The United States is gearing up for the entry of fully vaccinated international travellers starting Monday, ending its air travel ban for 33 countries, including India, and opening its land borders to Canada and Mexico.

According to news agency Reuters, Delta airlines saw a 450 per cent increase in international point-of-sale bookings after the US in September announced its plan to allow non-US citizens into the country. The airport and customs authorities are expecting long lines and delays on Monday, as they cater to the pent-up demand for travel.

If you’re travelling to the US, here’s what you need to know:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that foreign travellers to the US must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and are required to show a negative test result at the time of boarding.

You’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you have received an accepted single-dose vaccine or the full series of a double-dose vaccine. Vaccines approved by the FDA or the WHO for Emergency Use are acceptable, which includes both Covishield and Covaxin.

Those vaccinated can show a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to three days before travel. Those not fully vaccinated will only be allowed in exceptional cases such as children under 18 years of age, foreign diplomats or those who participated in vaccine trials. In such cases, a negative Covid-19 test result taken a day prior to travel is mandatory.

Children under two years of age are not required to test.

Self-quarantine is only required for those not fully vaccinated and travel to the US in exceptional cases.

The CDC also mandates wearing of masks in public transport and hubs, including airplanes.

Local guidelines

Each state has its own set of Covid-19 guidelines. It’s recommended to look up the restrictions in the respective destinations. For instance, New York City and San Francisco require proof of vaccination for indoor activities like dining, fitness and entertainment. Meanwhile, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have mask mandates in place, according to the CNN.

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