US to loosen travel restrictions for visitors from 33 countries in early November

Fully vaccinated visitors travelling to the US will not be required to quarantine if they return a negative COVID-19 test result.

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The US will ease travel restrictions for foreign visitors from certain countries who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations from early November, the White House said on Monday.

From early November, fully vaccinated passengers -- both US citizens and foreign visitors from certain countries -- will not be subject to any quarantine mandates upon arrival in the US, the government said.

The looser travel restrictions will apply to citizens from Schengen Zone countries, as well as Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, and the UK.  

Currently only US citizens, residents, and foreigners with special visas are allowed to enter the US without being required to quarantine.

As part of these upcoming travel rules, returning vaccinated US citizens and foreign visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and return a negative COVID-19 test that is taken within three days of departure, Jen Psaki said at a press briefing.

At the same time, the US government has updated its testing requirements for unvaccinated citizens re-entering the country. Unvaccinated US citizens will be required to both return a negative COVID-19 test within one day of departure and pre-purchase a viral test that must be taken upon arrival.

Other details for the upcoming new system are still being discussed, including which COVID-19 vaccines will be recognised by the US and whether the requirements apply to green card and visa holders, Psaki said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter said he was "delighted" by the news.

"It's a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again," he tweeted.

The UK and Europe set aside quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers from certain countries months earlier, and have reportedly been pushing for the US to similarly ease its travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, Australia is starting to trial home-based quarantine in some of its states for people coming into the country. It previously only allowed hotel quarantine for inbound travellers.

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