A Return to Normalcy: Biden ends U.S. Travel Ban for Vaccinated Foreigners

Denise Vaque, Design Editor

On Sept. 20, President Joe Biden ended the nearly two-year-long travel ban, originally instituted by President Donald Trump to curb the spread of COVID-19 to the U.S.. With the end of this ban, foreigners from Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can once again enter the U.S.. Citizens from countries that were once deemed COVID-19 hotspots, such as Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom can also now enter the country under the new guidelines.

This news comes as officials for the European Union recently dropped the United States from the EU’s safe travel list due to its high infection rates. In order to remain on the safe travel list, a country must have had less than 75 new daily cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days. The U.S., however, has greatly exceeded that limit with cases surging. 

Although travelers still must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and submit to contact tracing procedures prior to departure, the end of the ban marks a step towards the return to normalcy. With the new regulations, U.S. business and tourism travel industries are expecting a jumpstart.

As cases continue to rise in the U.S., a nation with a vaccination rate of 55%, many wonder how a transition to normalcy may affect the nation’s COVID-19 caseload in the face of changing variants of the virus, unprecedented death rates and full ICUs.