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COVID DATA December 6, 2021 INDIA: New Cases: 8,306 Total Cases: 3,46,41,561 New Deaths: 211 Total Deaths: 4,73,537 New Tests: 8,86,263 Total Tests: 64,82,59,067 New Vax: 24,55,911 Total Vax: 127,93,09,669 Hot Spot States (daily deaths above 10) Kerala: New Deaths: 23; Old Unreported Deaths: 138 TPR: 7.7% Total Deaths: 41,600 Bengal: New Deaths: 10 Total Deaths: 19,544 Tamil Nadu: New Deaths: 10 Total Deaths: 36,529 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
US allows entry to vaccinated foreigners, but fails to name acceptable vaccines
OPINION: While the White House had announced on September 20 that the covid restrictions on foreign travellers are being lifted and that all fully vaccinated visitors, including American citizens, will be allowed entry to the US from early November, leaving it to the CDC to take a final call on which vaccines are acceptable, the CDC said on Tuesday that the vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by the WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the US, but has failed to name the vaccines so far. Last week the CDC had indicated that it would approve only six vaccines, again, not pronouncing which are they, leaving the airlines and travellers confused. A replication of the British indecisiveness seen last month.

WASHINGTON, Oct 14: The US is easing travel restrictions for international travellers who are fully vaccinated against covid, it is claimed.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including US citizens, fully vaccinated against covid with a vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed entry to the United States from early November, with certain requirements but not quarantine, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said early this week, without naming the vaccines. This followed the White House announcement of lifting of travel curbs on September 20 and leaving it to the CDC to take a call on acceptable vaccines.

The FDA approved vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson while the WHO's vaccines list is indefinite. Air travellers and the airlines which are supposed to check the certificates are confused. There will be massive chaos at the airports. A similar situation was created by the UK's random approval of vaccines for travellers' entry last month.

Last week the CDC had stated that it was approving six vaccines, after the White House announcement, but then also the CDC did not pronounce which are the vaccines!

(A CDC spokesperson told Reuters Friday, "Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by the WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S." So if the CDC has selected six, which are they? How will the intending travellers know the acceptable vaccines? )

Jeff Zients, White House covid response coordinator, had told a press briefing on September 20 that those fully vaccinated and having a negative covid test report taken within three days prior to departure will not have to stay in quarantine on arrival. The Government then left it to the CDC to take a decision on which vaccines are acceptable.

Unvaccinated Americans will have to take a test within one day prior to departure and buy a test to be taken on arrival, Jeff Zients had said.

“They (international visitors) must show proof of vaccination prior to boarding a US-bound airplane,” Zients said.

The ban on most non-citizens from entering the US from the EU, UK, China, Iran, Brazil and other countries was therefore expected to come to an end. (The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travellers from the 26 Schengen countries in Europe as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil, it was reported.)

It will also give those who are overseas who have been separated from their families in the US the chance to reunite.

The curbs on the land borders with Canada and Mexico will stay for the present.

However, the details about the policy are still in the works.

Travel industry hails White House announcement

The relaxation in travel curbs has been welcomed by the airlines and the travel industry, which have been reeling under the impact of the pandemic and lobbying with the Federal Government for relief.

The airlines and the travel industry expect that lifting of the curbs will spur holiday bookings.

Airlines for America (A4A), an association of American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and other North American airlines, said it was "pleased by the CDC's decision to approve a list of authorized vaccinations for travellers entering the US. We look forward to working with the administration to implement this new global vaccine and testing framework by early November 2021." ALSO SEE: Statement from A4A President

European Union and Britain had lifted entry ban for US and other visitors as vaccines became widely available but the Biden administration had delayed a decision. Europe had gone public railing against the American non-reciprocity.

(The CDC's covid guidelines recommend that travelers who are not fully vaccinated take the test within three days prior departure, continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling. Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 metres (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol). Get tested again on arrival and go into 14-day quarantine.

(People are considered fully vaccinated: 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.)

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