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US to drop vaccine mandate for non citizens as official pandemic emergency ends

The United States will drop covid vaccine entry requirements for non citizens travelling to the country from the “end of the day” on the 11th of May.

The removal of the requirements comes after President Joe Biden signed a declaration officially ending the pandemic state of emergency on the 11th of April last. 

Non citizens hoping to travel to the United States by air and those crossing the Canadian border are currently required to show proof of having received a full course of covid 19 vaccinations with “no expiration date on the primary vaccination series” and a booster dose “not required” for travel. 

Vaccines must be those approved by the World Health Organisation WHO or Federal Drug Administration FDA, with limited exemptions. 

The changes also mean that federal employees and contractors are no longer subject to vaccine mandates.

Last June the Biden administration dropped requirements that travellers obtain a negative covid test result within 24 of travel into the country, but left the vaccination requirement in place. 

Speaking on the impact the mandates had on cross border travel between the US and Canada,  New York Congressman Brian Higgins said “For over three years now there have been barriers to cross-border travel. It has kept families apart and impeded economic recovery.”

Calling the removal of the vaccine requirement “long overdue,” he added that  this last lifting of pandemic restrictions “is certainly welcome news and critically important as we seek opportunities to encourage a robust cross-border exchange that delivers shared prosperity.”

The decision means that tennis star Novak Djokovic who famously refused to take any covid 19 vaccinations will be able to travel to the United States to compete in the US Open later this year. 



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