Half a month after the US administration announced that it would lift travel bans on vaccinated travelers from 33 countries around the world, including here the 26 countries in the Schengen area, Ireland and the UK, little is known about how the ban will be lifted.
Although when announcing the decision, the US government indicated that only vaccinated travelers are eligible to enter, while those who are not vaccinated will be banned, there are dozens of questions that remain unanswered, even more than two weeks later.
For example, while the White House has said the entry ban will be removed in early November, the exact date for the ban’s removal is still unknown.
Twitter users who plan to travel to the US once the ban is removed have raised the issue, demanding a specific date for when this would happen.
“Yes, but we need an appointment because some of us have had November tickets for months and need to know if we should cancel tickets or not. It’s October 1st. Time to make a date,” one Twitter user wrote under the headline @GadaRodriguez.
Others have raised the question of which COVID-19 vaccines the US will accept as valid evidence of immunity, as the US has not approved a single vaccine with which many EU and UK citizens have been vaccinated – the AstraZeneca vaccine and its formulations.
“I’m an American living in France. I hope to come back to the US soon to see my family. But I got the AstraZeneca vaccine. Will it be recognized?” Twitter user Rochelle Martin wrote under the EU Commission’s announcement regarding the lifting of the entry ban into the US.
Another user named Jean Cassegrain also commented on the same issue.
Cassegrin wrote: “Now let’s make sure that any vaccine that is recognized as fully complete in the EU is also recognized as such in the US (unlike the UK, which still doesn’t recognize single-dose or two-dose schemes for different vaccines) On September 20, under the same position.
While the UK has since started to admit fully vaccinated travelers who have received two different vaccines, it is still unknown which vaccines the US will accept to enter its territory.
In a press release on September 21, an EU Commission spokesperson said the US is expected to recognize all travel-friendly vaccines approved by the EMA, including the AstraZeneca vaccine. The latter has not been approved by the US Federal Food and Drug Agency (FDA) yet.
Travelers who have recently recovered from the virus but have not yet been vaccinated are also asking if they will be exempt from the entry ban. It is believed that by the end of October, all these questions will be answered by the US administration, although it is still unknown when.
Earlier today, TheSchengen.com reported that despite the US announcement that the entry ban is being lifted, the US State Department is currently advising against travel to nearly half of the EU/Schengen area countries, after issuing the same Tier 4 travel advice To Croatia, Austria and Latvia on October 4th.