The United States will again allow the entry of travelers from Brazil and other countries, such as China, India and the United Kingdom —provided they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19— from the beginning of November, announced the coordinator of the response to the pandemic at the White House, Jeff Zients, this Monday (20).
According to Zients, the plan, which reverses the decision taken 18 months ago, in March 2020, is to gradually resume entry permits, as authorities define new requirements. There will be some exceptions to the vaccine policy, officials said, but the details of the new requirements remain unclear.
“International travel is essential to connect families and friends, to fuel businesses large and small, to promote the open exchange of ideas and culture,” said Zients. “That’s why, with science and public health as our guide, we’ve developed a new international air travel system that makes Americans safer here at home and increases the safety of international air travel.”
Even if they have the full vaccination schedule, travelers who want to fly to the US must submit Covid-19 tests with a negative result and date up to three days before the trip.
Zients also announced new rules for unvaccinated US citizens abroad. To return to the US, this group must present a negative test done the day before the trip and must undergo a new examination as soon as they disembark.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also expected to announce an order to airlines soon, requiring them to collect telephone numbers and email addresses from travelers to enable a new contact tracking and symptom monitoring system , according to The New York Times.
The action by Joe Biden’s government comes on the eve of a visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. At the meeting, the Briton was expected to pressure the American to lift travel restrictions.
The same theme is on the agenda of President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) and Brazilian diplomats who are expected to meet Boris this Monday. The United Kingdom announced last Friday (17) a simplification of the rules for the entry of foreigners, with a single list of countries whose travelers are banned. Brazil remains among them.
A week ago, the CDC updated its risk rating for trips to Brazil. The country, which was rated for US residents who needed to travel as a “very high risk”, fourth and final stage, now has the “high risk” third stage seal.
According to the previous definition, the authorities’ orientation was not to travel to Brazil. With the new classification, in practice, the agency now recommends that only fully vaccinated travelers board. Still, non-essential travel to the country is not advised.
“Due to the current situation in Brazil, all travelers may be at risk of obtaining and spreading Covid-19 variants,” the agency highlighted on its website.
In January, two days before leaving the White House, now former President Donald Trump lifted travel restrictions on non-US passengers arriving from Brazil and Europe. On the occasion, the Republican referred to the new test protocols and said that the entry of passengers from Brazil and Europe was no longer “detrimental to the interests of the United States” and that it was “in the American interest to end the suspension of entry”.
Five days after taking office, however, Biden overturned his predecessor’s measure and reimposed the restrictions, citing the coronavirus variant that has been identified in Brazil and which, according to the Democrat’s text, could “impact the potential for reinfection.”