On Monday, President Joe Biden’s White House announced that airlines will need to check with U.S.-bound travelers for proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test when international travel restrictions are lifted next month. These travelers will also need to provide contact information to federal officials.
This comes weeks after the Biden administration announced that it will be lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions that banned most visitors from dozens of countries, including the U.K. and Brazil, on November 8, according to CNBC. Donald Trump put these rules in place in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic, and Biden extended them earlier this year.
“The airlines will verify vaccination status in the same way they have been, and will continue to do, with pre-departure negative Covid test results,” a senior Biden administration official told Politico.
“We have taken the deliberate step of taking this time to ensure implementation goes as smooth as possible, particularly with something this wide-ranging,” added a second senior administration official said.
Airlines have long been trying to get government officials to lift these restrictions.
″We welcome the Biden administration’s science-based approach to begin lifting the restrictions on travel to the U.S. that were put into place at the start of the pandemic,” American’s CEO Doug Parker said last week.
This comes after Canada announced a standardized proof of vaccination credential in the coming weeks for domestic and international travel.
“Canadians have done their part by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “As new vaccine requirements roll out for travelers, we are working to ensure that those who travel have access to a reliable, secure way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccinations, both at home and abroad. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners so this standardized proof is available across Canada.”
Trudeau went on to say that he hopes this new credential will encourage even more Canadians to get vaccinated.
“Thanks to the ongoing collaboration and partnership with provinces and territories, the majority of Canadians will have access to a COVID-19 proof of vaccination they can use to travel,” added the Hon. Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. “We are laying the groundwork now, so Canadians will have a more predictable travel experience overseas when borders fully re-open.”