The United States has finally agreed to ease COVID-related travel restrictions, with the White House announcing that the country would open travel for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November.
Under the new rules, foreign nationals boarding a flight bound to the US should carry proof of vaccination. In addition, they should obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within days of traveling.
However, it is not clear whether the authorities would only consider US-approved vaccines. The United States has not approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in many countries across the world, including Brazil and many Caribbean countries.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) will soon determine which vaccines the immigration officials should consider, according to local media reports.
The restrictions were first imposed in March 2020 by the Donald Trump administration. Joe Biden agreed to uphold the rules, asking his officials to focus on vaccination.
The new rules do not apply to people waiting to enter the US through its land borders with Mexico and Canada.
The announcement comes despite the delta variant continuing to wreak havoc in the country. In recent weeks, the pandemic is claiming an average of 2,000 Americans every day.
With 42 million infections and over 670,000 fatalities, the United States is one of the worst victims of the pandemic.