U.S. to lift ban on vaccinated travelers from Iran, other countries

October 16, 2021 - 19:3

TEHRAN – The United States is set to lift its COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors from Iran and several other countries, putting an end to historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the country for as long as 21 months.

Starting Nov. 8, the U.S. will also admit foreign air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, and Brazil, euronews reported on Saturday.

The ban has prevented many loved ones and foreign workers from reuniting with families. Besides, the U.S.  had lagged many other countries in lifting such restrictions.

Restrictions on non-U.S. citizens were first imposed on air travelers from China in January 2020 by then-President Donald Trump and then extended to dozens of other countries, without any clear metrics for how and when to lift them, the report said.

U.S. airline, hotel, and cruise industry stocks rose on the news, including American Airlines, up 2.8%; Marriott International Inc, up 3.7%; and Carnival Corp, up 0.9%.

U.S. international air passenger traffic was down 43% in August and overall passenger air traffic was down 21% over pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. Transportation Department said Friday.

Unvaccinated visitors will still be barred from entering the United States from Canada or Mexico at land borders. Non-U.S. air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight and will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show proof of a recent negative test.

Iran is also considering reopening borders to foreign vacationers as its new tourism minister has said the government will soon scrap visa restrictions. According to some sources, fully vaccinated travelers would be embraced first under the updated regulations.


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