International Travelers No Longer Required to Get COVID Vaccination in the US from May 11 Onwards

On Monday, the White House announced that the COVID-19 vaccination requirement imposed on international travelers and federal workers in the United States will end on May 11, coinciding with the conclusion of the coronavirus public health emergency.

In February, the US House of Representatives voted to lift the requirement for most foreign air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which was one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place.

The Biden administration had previously eliminated the rule in June 2021 that mandated people arriving in the US by air to test negative for COVID-19, but kept the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination requirements in place for most foreign travelers.

The regulations barred many athletes, including Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, from participating in some US tournaments due to their lack of COVID-19 vaccinations. However, starting on May 12, Djokovic and others who are unvaccinated can enter and compete in major American tournaments like the U.S. Open without any restrictions.

The Department of Homeland Security also announced on Monday that starting May 12, non-US travelers using land ports of entry and ferries will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 nor provide proof of vaccination upon request.

Moreover, the Biden administration’s rule issued in September 2021, which mandates around 3.5 million federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated or face firing or disciplinary action, has not been enforced for over a year following a series of court rulings.

A federal appeals court upheld a decision in March blocking enforcement of the employee vaccine requirement.

Furthermore, the White House instructed federal agencies in October 2022 not to enforce the contractor vaccine requirements, even after the nationwide injunction was lifted.

The Department of Health and Human Services has also announced the initiation of the process to end vaccination requirements for Head Start educators and government-certified healthcare facilities.  REUTERS

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