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U.S. Lifts International Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Visitors
The Biden Administration announced it will ease airline restrictions on travel to the U.S. for international visitors who have proof of a completed vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test, according to a September 20 report from the Associated Press.
The changes are set to take effect in “early November,” seemingly just ahead of one of the meetings industry’s biggest events of the year, IMEX America, which is set to take place in person in Las Vegas November 9-11.
“We are absolutely delighted to see that the U.S. will be easing travel restrictions from across the world into America from November. Hundreds of global buyers, exhibitors and industry professionals are keen to attend IMEX America and reconnect with their industry family,” IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer told Meetings Today in reaction to the news.
“Whilst the U.S. has not yet announced an exact date, we are hopeful that the current statement of ‘early November’ will allow travel into the USA in time for IMEX America and hope that further details will be announced very soon,” she continued. “We know that there is huge pent-up demand, and we very much hope to be able to welcome our global industry back to IMEX America 2021.”
The move follows 18 months of travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new policies, which were announced by White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, will require all foreign travelers flying to the U.S. to:
- Demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding.
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their flight.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow applauded the move in a press release:
“This is a major turning point in the management of the virus and will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions.
"The U.S. Travel Association expresses its deep appreciation to the President and his advisors—in particular Commerce Secretary Raimondo, who has been a tireless advocate—for working with the industry to develop a plan to restart international travel and safely reconnect America with the world."
Read more reactions from airlines and other travel industry professionals in the full Associated Press report.