Half a month since the United States administration announced that it would abolish the travel ban on vaccinated travellers from 33 world countries, including here the 26 Schengen Area countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom, little is known about the way the ban will be removed.
Though when announcing the decision, the US govt noted that only vaccinated travellers would be eligible to enter, while those not vaccinated would still be banned, there are tens of questions that remain unanswered, even after over two weeks.
For example, while the White House said that the entry ban would be removed in early November, it is still unknown the exact date when the ban is expected to be removed.
Twitter users who plan on travelling to the US as soon as the ban is removed have raised the issue asking for an exact date when that will happen.
“Yes, but we need a date because some of us have had tickets for November for months ago and we need to know if we should cancel tickets or not. It’s October 1. It’s time for an exact date,” a Twitter user under the handler @GadaRodriguez wrote.
Others have raised the issue of COVID-19 vaccines that will be accepted by the US as valid proof of immunity, as the US has not approved one vaccine with which many EU and UK nationals have been vaccinated – the AstraZeneca vaccine and its formulations.
“I’m American living in France. I hope to go back to the US soon to see my family. But I had the AstraZeneca vaccine. Will it be recognised?” a Twitter user named Rochelle Martin wrote under the EU Commission’s announcement on the removal of the US entry ban.
Another user named Jean Cassegrain has also commented on the same issue.
“Let’s make sure now that any vaccination recognised as fully completed in the EU is also recognised as such in the US (as opposed to the UK, which still does not recognise one-dose schemes or two doses of different vaccines),” Cassegrain wrote on September 20, under the same post.
While since then, the UK has started recognising as fully vaccinated travellers who have received two different vaccines, it remains unknown which vaccines will be accepted by the US for entering its territory.
In a press release held on September 21, a spokesperson of the EU Commission said that it is expected that the US will recognise as valid vaccines for travel all those approved by the EMA, including the AstraZeneca vaccine. The latter has not been approved by the US federal agency Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet.
Travellers who have recovered from the virus recently but aren’t vaccinated yet have also been asking whether they will be exempted from the entry ban. It is believed that by the end of October, all these questions will be answered by the US administration, though it remains unknown when.
Previously today, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that in spite of the US announcement to remove the entry ban, the US Department of State currently advises against travel to almost half of the EU/Schengen Area countries, after the same issued Level 4 advice against travel to Croatia, Austria and Latvia on October 4.