US eases Covid travel curbs from November 8

US eases Covid travel curbs from Nov 8
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US eases Covid travel curbs from Nov 8

Highlights

Entry allowed for people vaccinated with Covishield u But bars entry for those who have taken Covaxin or Sputnik

Washington: The United States of America will be lifting Covid-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors, including Indians, starting from November 8. With this, the US has ended historic restrictions that had barred much of the world from entering the US for as long as 21 months.

The official White House order stated, "Starting November 8, the United States will admit fully vaccinated foreign air travellers 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, Iran and Brazil".

The US has not announced any travel-specific, quarantine or Covid-19 testing guidelines yet. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use, as well as those authorized by the WHO, will be accepted for entry into the United States.

So far, the WHO has approved seven vaccines--Moderna's m-RNA-1273; Pfizer/BioNTech's BNT162b2; Johnson & Johnson' Ad26.COV2.S; Oxford/AstraZeneca's AZD1222; Serum Institute of India's Covishield; Sinopharm's BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells), and Sinovac's CoronaVac. Besides, the CDC said that it will also accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines from international travellers.

"Individuals who have any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed Covid-19 two-dose series are considered fully vaccinated," the CDC added.

According to the WHO, nearly 50 countries have approved the Serum Institute's Covishield vaccine. These include--The US, the UK, Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentine, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Jamaica, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine. However, as per the CDC's notification, Indians who have taken either Bharat Biotech's Covaxin or Sputnik, will not be able to travel to the US next month.

The Indian government is hopeful that the WHO will soon give approval to India's indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin. Recently, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla expressed hope that the WHO will soon give approval to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

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