Biden Admin to Institute Vaccine Passport Requirement for Europeans
Only injected Europeans will be accepted, they will still have to undertake a test
Editor’s note: Trump actually decreed the entry ban lifted in January 2021, but Joe “The Science” Biden overruled that.
The White House announced on Monday that it would be lifting blanket travel restrictions on visitors from Europe, Britain and other countries that had been imposed at the start of the pandemic.
Under rules to take effect in early November, fully vaccinated travelers from anywhere in the world would be able to fly to the United States, though they would also be subject to new testing and contact-tracing procedures, Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said in a call with reporters.
Zients said the new system “follows the science” to keep Americans and international travel safe and would be “relying on individuals, rather than a country-based approach, so it’s a stronger system.”
The announcement came as President Biden prepared to meet face-to-face this week with world leaders and diplomats at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. It also comes at a time of tense relations between Washington and Europe.
European leaders have voiced frustration with the administration’s handling of the pullout from Afghanistan, while France is enraged by a U.S. deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia that undercut its own agreement.
[Why the French are so furious at the Biden administration over a derailed submarine deal]
The travel ban — though a low-profile issue in the United States — had been particularly galling to Europeans, with one British newspaper dubbing it “Kafkaesque.”
“Over the past few months the travel ban went from a minor irritant in the transatlantic relationship to an existential threat to Biden’s Europe policy. There was simply no scientific justification for it after European vaccination rates exceeded those of the United States,” said Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.
The ban on entry to travelers who had been almost anywhere in Europe in the previous 14 days was first imposed by the Trump administration, by executive order, more than 550 days ago. [By early November it will have been 600 days.] It has been kept in place under Biden, even as the coronavirus picture improved in Europe and worsened in the United States.
Though exceptions were made for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, along with a small number of visa holders, the strict rules had stopped millions of potential travelers, costing businesses and leading to profound personal disruption for Europeans, many of whom missed major life events, from births to deaths.
In total, the travel restrictions had impacted 33 nations, including Britain, India and China. The White House announcement on Monday applies to all travelers from outside the United States arriving via air.
However, the most vocal reaction was from Europe, which accounts for a large portion of visitors to the United States and where diplomats had become increasingly outspoken over the restrictions.
“Travel ban lifted!” tweeted Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union’s Ambassador to Washington, who only hours earlier had said that E.U. member states had been “working diligently” to help get the ban lifted.
Many on the continent had expected the United States to lift the restrictions over summer, in return for their own relaxation of restrictions on travelers from the United States in June. But no reciprocal move was forthcoming.
Some diplomats fumed that while the restrictions were once understandable, they had become nonsensical, with few restrictions on U.S. travelers who could carry the virus, even when they were coming from countries with low rates of vaccination and high rates of daily cases.
Although the European Union had initially lagged behind in vaccinations, it overtook the United States this summer. As of last week, about 60 percent of the 27-nation bloc was fully vaccinated, compared to 53 percent in the United States, where pockets of anti-vaccination sentiment have helped slow early success.
“The issue had been rising among public opinion in Europe, and European leaders were increasingly under pressure to impose reciprocity on Americans,” said Benjamin Haddad, senior director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council.
Monday’s announcement appeared to mark an abrupt U-turn in thinking from the Biden administration. Last week, citing the spread of the delta variant, Zients told a meeting with representatives from the U.S. travel industry that the administration was “maintaining the existing travel restrictions at this point,” and the White House stated there was no imminent policy change.
It is unclear if heightened political tensions in the U.S.-EU relationship ultimately pushed the United States to drop the ban.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a long discussion about the travel ban on Friday with French ambassador to Washington, Philippe Etienne, just before Etienne was ordered to return to Paris due to France’s anger over a U.S.-UK-Australia submarine deal, said a senior State Department official familiar with the matter.
When asked if the decision to lift the ban was aimed at restoring relations with Europe after recent such setbacks, Erica Barks-Ruggles, a State Department official at the Bureau of International Organizations, said the decision was “driven by the science.”
Some details of the new rules may also need to be ironed out. It is not yet clear if vaccines that have not been authorized in the United States, such as the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot or vaccines made by China and Russia, will be accepted.
Under the new rules, vaccinated travelers to the United States will have to test negative for the virus within three days before departure. The new policy also requires that airlines collect passenger information, including a phone number and email, to improve contact-tracing efforts.
Federal health officials sought to impose such a requirement early in the pandemic, but the effort stalled. In February, seven U.S. carriers announced they would collect passenger information from international travelers on U.S.-bound flights. However, it was up to individuals to voluntarily provide the information. Under the White House’s new policy, international travelers will be required to provide their details.
However the decision came about, many across the Atlantic welcomed it.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is set to meet Biden at the White House on Tuesday, tweeted he was “delighted” with the news. British newspapers had reported Monday morning that he planned to press the issue with his U.S. counterpart.
The prime minister said it was a “fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
Ylva Johansson, the E.U.’s commissioner for home affairs, said she “welcomes” the decision. Margaritis Schinas, the E.U. Commission’s vice president for promoting the European way of life, called the new policy “sound and long-awaited.”
“When I met my US counterparts in July in Lisbon I told them that mobility cannot be reserved for the elite alone,” he wrote on Twitter. “People need to travel not only officials. Europe the most vaccinated continent in the world.”
The change will mean a big boost to the tourism industry. Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said it will ensure that international travel can resume in a manner that will keep people safe and protect jobs.
“We applaud the Biden administration for announcing plans to reunite [vaccinated] families and open travel with strict procedures to ensure transportation doesn’t aid in the spread of the virus,” Nelson said. “International travel is essential to the stability of our jobs and the full recovery of the U.S. airline industry, but recovery is only possible if we remain focused first on safety and health.”
Source: The Washington Post
But Illegal Mexicans can come without any vaccine or test for Covid.
I have my daughter living in the US, & I was planning to spend Christmas with her in 2001 .. The you had 911, & Gestapo Stasi at the airports (Homeland Security) So I did postponed, told my daughter I’ll visit you, when the thing will calm down & go back to normal as it was ??
Still waiting 20 years later ??
Get her out of yhere a.s.a.p., or will never know how she dies and where!!! It is coming there!!! I moved out in 2004, and never regret it!!!
Hmm.. I’m concerned, but she’s living in a Southern State , so my concern is less that if she would be living in Portland or Philadelphia..
But it was only 200,000 — last Month !
Lol!! The vaccinated can still transmit and contact the virus…This makes as much sense as believing Santa is real!
Santa’s not real! Just ask dear leaders that’s been ripping off taxpayers for decades.
senile veg wants to destroy economy more
I call that senile vegetable as girls molester,rapo and killer!!!
Presstitutes and vertical pigs are what stand between us and the globo pedovores. All 3 groups will be going to Nuremberg 2. That simple.
PfiZer macht frei
Same as it ever waZ
Reiner Fuellmich…update on “legal” situation
Dr Robert Malone inventor of mRNA lays it out and warns on Jimmy Dore, Youlube
YOU are the disease, their covaids death squirt the cure.
Astoundingly these scumbags still imagine they will get away with their covaids vaxx genocide. In 12 months most of these political hos, presstitutes and vertical pigs will be burned.
Count on it.
“We applaud the Biden administration for announcing plans to reunite [vaccinated] families and open travel with strict procedures to ensure transportation doesn’t aid in the spread of the virus,” Nelson said.”
I was in the commie workers of america, CWA union. It is commie central. They even have members wearing red on Thursdays. And the members did! I got the hell out and was constantly ostracized by my ‘fellow worker commies”. Like everything else the union said “jobs are a human right”.
And while they were preaching human rights I watched them at union meetings literally rip off the local kitty. They are extremely proud they helped gruesom Newsome steal the recall election. Do I have to mention they were all for the election thief commander. We’re talking serious fanatics here. 100% USDA Grade A.
And Americans will do exactly the same thing they did when government conjured up the sexual predators TSA gang……. nothing,,, maybe a little bitching.
Nobody in the world is more deserving of a full blown tyrannical state than Americans!
Right after taking the oath…. Chief Tyrant in Charge.
Ken, you fu…ng degenerated goy, obese= lardy arse, your zionazis cannot be called commies! Communist fucke..up the zionazis, never legal in any ” communist” country under USSR!!! Youare just uneducated, dumbed down USraeli goy!!!
I believe he is wrong about unions however listen to what you’re saying.
You sound like a mental patient on Seroquel.
You and Yurinator blindly hate an entire population.
You’re no better than Hitler.
Nazi Germans murdered my family, yet I don’t hate all Germans.
You are a sick puppy (more like a hell dog) get help or you will die a terrible death.
Live by the sword?
Fu.k his zionist USrael on DEATH BED!!! Who wants to go there except few zionists and megabansters???
The mRNA vaccine injection is similar to a terrorist killing millions of people worldwide with a shot from a syringe not a gun.