COVID-19: US releases new vaccination requirements for travelers

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domestic air travel
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The Biden Administration has set new rules for travellers to the United States, effective Monday, November 8, 2021.

The rules are expected to protect public health while providing consistent guidance around the world.

A statement issued in Accra by the United States (US) Embassy, said with limited exceptions, travellers to the US must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Biden Administration had allowed for a limited exception for some countries, including Ghana.

“Under this exception, which will be reviewed every in 90 days, unvaccinated travellers may enter with non-tourist visas using their Ghanaian passport but will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test administered within one day of travel to the US before boarding,” it said.

The statement said there was no exception for Ghanaian tourists and business travellers (B1/B2).

Ghanaian tourists and business travellers using any “B” visa must show proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test administered within three days of departure, it said.

“For flights departing to the United States at or after 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (5:01 a.m. GMT), November 8, fully vaccinated air travellers will be required to show documentation of their vaccination status and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of travel to the US before boarding,” it said.

The statement said children between ages two and 17 were not required to be vaccinated but must have a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

If a child was traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a sample taken within three days before departure was required, consistent with the timeline for fully vaccinated adults.

“If an unvaccinated child is traveling alone or with unvaccinated adult, proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a sample taken within one day of departure is required,” it said.

The statement said while children under two years of age were exempted from the testing requirement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a pre-departure test for those children whenever possible.

For the purpose of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include those approved or authorised by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), as well as vaccines with an emergency use listing from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

All US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are otherwise eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered one day before departure.

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