International tourists rush US for November date
- White House officials are silent on a date or even when a date will be announced to widely reopen U.S. borders to vaccinated international visitors.
- Austrian Ambassador to the United States Martin Weiss told a traveler who contacted via Twitter on Friday that the target date is November 1.
- If the date is not November 1 or soon after, travelers who have already purchased tickets for those dates will scramble to book flights and change other travel plans, an expensive prospect.
“Beginning of November.” It’s as accurate as the White House was last week when it plans announced widely reopen US borders to vaccinated international visitors. It has been a week since and no date has been specified.
With just a month of November, travelers in Europe, the UK and other places covered by the travel ban are desperately looking for specific dates so they can prepare or adjust their travel plans and take time off work. .
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Travelers request information on Twitter, regularly pointing fingers at government officials in the United States and abroad.
“Give us a date,” a woman from Cologne, Germany said in a tweet Monday calling President Joe Biden, press secretary Jen Psaki and the White House.
White House officials are silent on a date or even when a date will be announced, and airline and tourism officials say they have no details.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only says they expect to have an order requiring airlines to collect passenger information for COVID-19 contact tracing – a key part of the government’s border reopening plan – by mid-October, said spokesman Scott Pauley.
Government agencies give you the “round robin”
San Francisco photographer Elena Graham, whose partner lives in Norway, is frustrated at not being able to get answers.
“Everyone transfers you to another department,” she said. “The CDC says it’s the State Department. The State Department declares its health and social services. They say it’s homeland security. It’s like a round robin. ”
Graham and his partner, who have not been to the United States since 2019, began purchasing a plane ticket from Norway to San Francisco after the Announcement on September 20 of the reopening of the border.
They were hesitant to book at first, but decided to buy a ticket for November 9 when they saw prices skyrocket.
“We felt a certain urgency to book something,” she said.
They paid $ 1,000 for a one-way ticket with more flexibility and have been keeping their fingers crossed ever since. Graham’s partner has already taken time off in November and sublet his apartment. They had originally planned to bring him to the United States via another country after being quarantined there for two weeks, a so-called trip to a third country.
“It’s just hard to hope or believe you’ll be together when there’s nothing final,” Graham said.
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The couple have already seen their travel plans dashed this year. Graham was able to visit Norway last year when the country reopened partner travel and had planned to return this year since. the American borders were still closed to his partner. But Norway tightened entry restrictions in January, laying out a detailed plan for when they would be lifted again.
“They would put a target date. It would happen on that date (and nothing has changed.) It has been that way throughout the year,” she said. “It’s a bit traumatic and very difficult to feel any confidence in something so vague.”
When will the travel ban to the United States be lifted? Online speculation centers on November 1
Travelers trying to reunite have become online sleuths, looking for any sign of a reopening date. At the end of last week, a blogger Tracking the UK-US reopening for travelers shared a screenshot of a direct message conversation with United Airlines that said the US plans to “lift restrictions on air travel. ‘geographically travel ban’ from 1 November.
United spokeswoman Nicole Carriere said there was no schedule update beyond the government’s announcement in early November.
However, Austrian Ambassador to the United States Martin Weiss told a traveler who contacted via Twitter on Friday that the target date is November 1.
Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt, co-founder of Atmosphere Research, said the longer the government goes without a date, the harder it will be for travelers and airlines.
“There is literally no time to waste,” he said. “The longer they wait, the more chaos and confusion there will be.”
If the date isn’t November 1, for example, some travelers who bought tickets in the first week of November will scramble to book flights and change other travel plans, an expensive prospect. And the airlines will be inundated with calls.
“It’s really disappointing for me to see how badly this has been managed and communicated,” said Harteveldt. “I appreciate that there are a lot of details that need to be factored into the process, but we should now know by what date in November international visitors will be allowed to travel to the United States.”
When the ban on travel to the United States is lifted, what will the entry requirements be?
- Regardless of November, travelers will need to show full proof of vaccination before boarding planes bound for the United States.
- A coronavirus test will also continue to be required within three days of departure and proof of negative results will need to be presented.
- Improved contact tracing and masking will also be required, but there will be no quarantine warrant.
- Airlines will ask to see proof of vaccination before boarding. The United States will will likely accept vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
- U.S. citizens will not be required to show proof of vaccination to board international flights returning to the United States, but will still be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days prior to departure.
- Unvaccinated Americans will be required to take a coronavirus test one day before departure – instead of the three-day requirement today – and provide proof that they have a second test to take after arrival.
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