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US to lift travel restrictions on Nov. 8 for vaccinated international visitors

Travelers entering the US will have to show proof of vaccination.

James Martin/CNET

The US will allow international travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the US starting Nov. 8, allowing nonessential travel for the first time since lockdowns began in March 2020.

The "new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8," said White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz in a tweet Friday. "This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. "

The US will accept vaccines approved or authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration, as well as ones listed by the World Health Organization for emergency use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The Biden administration previously said it planned to relax restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers in early November, but hadn't provided a specific date. Earlier this week, US officials said they will also ease COVID-19 travel restrictions along its land borders with Mexico and Canada

International travelers flying to the US will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative test taken within three days of departure to the US, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said last month. 

Unvaccinated foreigner travelers will remain largely barred from entering the US, though there will reportedly be limited exemptions, including for young children.