(CNN) — New U.S. international travel policies will take effect in just a few weeks.
Nov. 8 will be the official start date for reopening the United States to fully vaccinated travelers entering the country by air or land, the White House announced Friday.
Although there are still details to be finalised, having a date set is a relief to many would-be travelers who have been left in limbo since it was announced on September 20 that the establishment of a new international air transport system would take place “early November”. .”
Similar plans were announced this week to reopen US borders with Mexico and Canada to vaccinated travelers for tourism and non-essential travel. The November 8 date includes both air and ground travel.
This is all that is known so far about the new policies and what they will mean for travellers:
Who can travel?
The new rules allow foreigners fully vaccinated against covid-19 to enter the United States, replacing a series of prohibitions and restrictions established since the start of the pandemic.
This means that foreigners from restricted countries such as China, Iran, the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and India will soon be able to access it under new rules that apply to all international travellers.
The vaccination obligation comes into force on 8 November.
Which vaccines are accepted?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already alerted airlines that all vaccines approved and cleared by the FDA, as well as vaccines on the U.S. Emergency Use List (EUL) WHO, will be accepted for entry into the United States. . (READ: Which vaccines are valid to enter the United States?)
This means that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is used in places like Canada and Europe, will be accepted. The Sputnik V vaccine, developed in Russia, has not been approved by the WHO or the FDA.
Although the CDC has yet to comment on vaccines for cross-border travel, a White House official told CNN he hopes the same vaccines will be accepted.
The CDC considers people to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose schedule, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
What about unvaccinated Americans?
Unvaccinated Americans can still enter the United States, but will need to undergo more rigorous testing to travel by air.
They will be “subject to more stringent testing requirements,” including testing within a day of their flight departing to the United States and additional testing upon their return, said Jeff Zients, the COVID response coordinator. -19 from the White House when he announced the new rules on international air travel on September 20.
The announcement of Mexico and Canada’s land borders on October 12 did not specifically refer to unvaccinated Americans, but the vaccination requirement is for “incoming foreign travelers.”
What about unvaccinated children?
Although little was said about children in announcements of the new international travel system, the Department of Homeland Security told CNN that the vaccination requirement will not apply to children who are not eligible for the vaccination.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on September 20 that the stricter rules for air travel that have been put in place for unvaccinated Americans “at this time would obviously also apply to children. “.
It is not clear if the entry requirements will be the same for foreign and American children. CNN has asked for clarification on travel requirements for children.
What about mixed dose vaccines?
The CDC is working on the issue of mixed-dose vaccines, according to senior administration officials. The CDC will offer guidance “in the coming weeks” regarding the vaccination status of people who have received doses of two different vaccines, an official said Oct. 12.
Are the tests necessary?
Fully vaccinated air travelers are still required to present a negative covid-19 test within three days of departing their flight to the United States, in accordance with applicable regulations.
As mentioned above, unvaccinated US citizens will be required to take a COVID-19 test within a day of their flight departing and again upon arrival.
No proof is required at land borders.
What type of documentation is required?
A White House official said Friday that details on what constitutes acceptable proof of vaccination will be available soon.
At land borders, vaccinated people crossing for non-essential purposes should “be prepared to certify their vaccination status and present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request,” the official said.
Another senior administration official said Tuesday that the agencies are working closely with the CDC on ground and air requirements and should have a decision in “the next few days on what the appropriate documentation will be.”
Airlines already have systems in place to collect the required test information from air travelers, as all air travelers entering the United States are already required to submit a negative test result.
The White House official said more operational details related to international travel will be released “well before November 8 to allow for a smooth transition to the new system.”
Who can no longer enter the United States?
The new international travel system largely prohibits unvaccinated foreigners from entering the United States.
Unvaccinated travelers from countries not affected by the travel ban who are currently allowed to travel to the United States (from Mexico and Canada, for example) will no longer be able to enter from November 8.
A White House official told CNN that additional guidance on “very limited exceptions” to the requirements will be provided before the international travel policy takes effect.
At land borders, the vaccination requirement that comes into effect on November 8 applies to non-essential travel, such as tourism and visiting friends and family.
People traveling for essential reasons, including truck drivers and students, will still be able to cross borders until early January, whether they are vaccinated or not.
The vaccination requirement for all foreigners crossing borders by land or ferry will come into effect in early January.
— CNN’s Betsy Klein and Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this report.