By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday that the United States is developing a “new system for international travel” that will include new mitigation and contact tracing procedures. .
Zients told the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board that the government does not plan to immediately relax any travel restrictions due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 cases.
“We are studying the possibility of imposing vaccination requirements on foreign nationals traveling to the United States,” Zients said.
Reuters first reported in early August that the White House was considering vaccination requirements that could cover almost all foreign visitors.
Extraordinary travel restrictions in the United States were first imposed on China in January 2020 to deal with the spread of COVID-19. Numerous other countries have been added, most recently India, in May.
The government wants to lift travel restrictions “as soon as we can,” Zients said, adding that it was “working now to be ready to replace the current restrictions with a new system for international travel that is safer, more robust and sustainable.” .
Currently, the United States prohibits entry to most non-US citizens who have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil in the last 14 days.
Additionally, it prohibits non-essential travel for most non-US citizens at the US land borders with Mexico and Canada.