us travel-15-1634315166400
Travellers arrive at the international terminal of the O'Hare Airport in Chicago in a file photo. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: The Biden administration is to announce on Friday that it will lift travel restrictions on November 8 for fully vaccinated individuals arriving in the US by air travel or by crossing land borders, according to a White House official.

The measures are the biggest changes to US travel policy since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and replace a system that flatly barred most foreign nationals coming directly from certain places, including Europe, India, Brazil and China.

Foreign nationals will be able to travel to the US if they show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel. The policy change was announced in September, but the White House is announcing Friday the date when it will take effect.

The White House announced earlier this week it would lift restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign nationals for non-essential travel at US land borders and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico in early November. Land and ferry travelers will be required to present proof of vaccination to officials upon request.

The official, who was granted anonymity to speak on a policy that had not yet been publicly announced, said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has informed airlines that all FDA-approved and authorized vaccines, as well as those that have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization, are acceptable. The CDC plans to issue guidelines on acceptable proof of vaccination in the coming weeks.