The Biden administration has announced that after May 11, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required for international air travelers arriving in the USA. The end of the US COVID vaccine mandate was announced in a May 1 White House press briefing that states:
“Today, we are announcing that the Administration will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.”
What the Announcement Means for US Visitors
After May 11, travel to the US should essentially revert to how it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors will no longer be required to show proof of full COVID vaccination. This will put the US in line with most of its counterparts throughout the world who dropped their vaccine mandates throughout 2022 and into 2023.
Why Is the US COVID Vaccine Mandate Ending?
According to the White House, the vaccine mandate which was first instituted in 2021 is coming to an end because both COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are down over 90% as compared to January, 2021, and global COVID deaths are at their lowest level since the pandemic began.
The briefing stated, “Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place.”
This will certainly come as welcome news to many families who have been separated since the start of the pandemic. Even foreign visitors who are unable to meet US vaccination requirements will now be allowed to enter the country with no additional restrictions after May 11.
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