White House Announces Exemptions To New Vaccine Requirement For Travel To U.S.

Starting November 8, most non-resident travelers to the United States will have to be vaccinated in addition to testing negative for Covid-19 within the prior 3 days.

This replaces the near-blanket ban on travel from China, Iran, India, Brazil, South Africa, the European Schengen area, the U.K. and Ireland.

It was an odd rule since travelers from Bahrain and Peru, which had some of the world’s worst outbreaks, were never excluded. Neither were travelers from Mexico, who couldn’t cross the land border but could enter by air.

The new rule is odd as well,

  • The new entry policy recognizes vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, so the Chinese Sinovac vaccine is accepted, even though it was claimed to be just 51% effective against symptomatic disease pre-Delta variant and the WHO says there’s no evidence it reduces infection or transmission.

  • Russia’s Sputnik vaccine won’t be accepted. So until November 8th unvaccinated Russians are welcome in the U.S. and after that even vaccinated Russians won’t be. Sputnik has been ordered by 70 countries.

  • Prior infection isn’t recognized at all, so people following European guidelines for one vaccine dose along with prior infection – which may provide more robust immunity than so-called full vaccination (and prior infection plus one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech is certainly better than one dose of Johnson & Johnson) – won’t be allowed.

The administration, in issuing its orders, has now clarified who is exempt from the vaccine requirement entirely.

  1. Children under 18. Many vaccines aren’t approved yet for use in children.

  2. Those with medical reasons not to get one. There will be a procedure, just as employer requirements generally allow medical exemption.

  3. Business visitors from countries where vaccines aren’t prevalent. There are about 50 countries where vaccination rates are below 10%, and non-tourist visitors from those countries will not have to be vaccinated.

Exempt visitors staying in the country longer than 60 days will generally need to become vaccinated, which doesn’t require citizenship or residence or even an I.D. It’s odd to require vaccination only at the end of two months rather than, say, for those whose exemption isn’t due to age or health being required to get a shot within their first few days in the country.

Airlines will have to confirm that non-U.S. residents flying to the U.S. have proof of vaccination from an “official source” and that the last dose “was at least two weeks earlier than the travel date.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Following a global health organization list seems like a good idea. But if “the WHO says there’s no evidence it reduces infection or transmission” then why does the WHO keep it on the list? I’m guessing politics.

    Either way the US can follow the WHO or make up its own rules. I’m guessing following the WHO with some modifications is easier to implement and have standard enforcement.

  2. Russians with a WHO approved vaccine can still visit. But, one wonders what affect it will have on Aeroflot flights to the US, and if flight crew need to be vaccinated with a WHO approved vaccine. But, WHO approval of Sputnik is underway, but may not be approved in 2021 if it follows the path of EU approval of Sputnik, partially because of schedule issues. The issues are more related to manufacturer site approvals than effectiveness.

  3. Pilots are generally terrible at running airlines, doctors are generally terrible at running hospitals. Along those lines, this is what we get when incompetent lifetime government bureaucrats are put in charge of running this country, this is the nonsense that prevails. And certainly they will make the FAA mask mandate more or less permanent now that cold and flu season is just around the corner.

  4. omg this makes absolutely no sense and yet , I get to lose my JOB but can travel freely according to this policy. This country is a JOKE

  5. 2021: Building Back Segregation

    What a world we live in.
    Vaccines last 6 months
    People who are ‘protected’ are the most terrified.

    Science went out the window, hysteria remains.

    But. at least we’re trying segregation again.

  6. “Neither were travelers from Mexico, who couldn’t cross the land border but could enter by air.”

    Awesome ! Gary just solved the Southern Border Crisis all on his own!

    Leff 2024 !

  7. Translation: We have no idea what we are doing so here are the rules for now and we’ll change them whenever we decide we don’t know something else. What we need to do is defeat COVID (by “defeat” I mean get it down to where it is no longer killing thousands a day), for which purpose we need to get people vaccinated.

  8. David Stone,

    As more and more “professional mangers” got involved in being in charge of more and more healthcare services in the US — involved from one or more side of the healthcare service marketplace — it hasn’t taken genius to notice what happened: health care costs in the US have skyrocketed out of proportion to improvements in health outcomes; the quality of care depersonalized; and even the quantity of care rationed in ways that just run up the long-term costs. You just don’t notice it or care to notice it because mostly its OPM paying for the majority of healthcare in the country in the here and now. Trying to pretend as if “professional businesspeople” are the best people to run the healthcare show is a natural inclination for corporate apologists who fancy themselves as “conservatives” or “libertarians” and want to privatize the gains of fleecing the consumers while socializing the losses; but that doesn’t mean it works well. Penny-wise, pound-foolish is the natural output by and for those “running hospitals” today, and it doesn’t work well except for fans and private beneficiaries of corporate socialism.

  9. Sounds like this will jam up the immigration lines so badly that no one will be able to enter anyway. Might have been the point.

  10. More nonsense and stupidity for a “virus” with a .5% mortality rate. This has never been about health, but always about control.

  11. Vaginal health is an important part of a woman’s overall health. Vaginal problems can affect your fertility, desire for sex and ability to reach orgasm. Ongoing vaginal health issues can also cause stress or relationship problems and impact your self-confidence. Know the signs and symptoms of vaginal problems and what you can do to protect your vaginal health.

  12. Then Pallas Minerva put valour into the heart of Diomed, son of Tydeus, that he might excel all the other Argives, and cover himself with glory. She made a stream of fire flare from his shield and helmet like the star that shines most brilliantly in summer after its bath in the waters of Oceanus- even such a fire did she kindle upon his head and shoulders as she bade him speed into the thickest hurly-burly of the fight.

    Now there was a certain rich and honourable man among the Trojans, priest of Vulcan, and his name was Dares. He had two sons, Phegeus and Idaeus, both of them skilled in all the arts of war. These two came forward from the main body of Trojans, and set upon Diomed, he being on foot, while they fought from their chariot. When they were close up to one another, Phegeus took aim first, but his spear went over Diomed’s left shoulder without hitting him. Diomed then threw, and his spear sped not in vain, for it hit Phegeus on the breast near the nipple, and he fell from his chariot. Idaeus did not dare to bestride his brother’s body, but sprang from the chariot and took to flight, or he would have shared his brother’s fate; whereon Vulcan saved him by wrapping him in a cloud of darkness, that his old father might not be utterly overwhelmed with grief; but the son of Tydeus drove off with the horses, and bade his followers take them to the ships. The Trojans were scared when they saw the two sons of Dares, one of them in fright and the other lying dead by his chariot. Minerva, therefore, took Mars by the hand and said, “Mars, Mars, bane of men, bloodstained stormer of cities, may we not now leave the Trojans and Achaeans to fight it out, and see to which of the two Jove will vouchsafe the victory? Let us go away, and thus avoid his anger.”

    So saying, she drew Mars out of the battle, and set him down upon the steep banks of the Scamander. Upon this the Danaans drove the Trojans back, and each one of their chieftains killed his man. First King Agamemnon flung mighty Odius, captain of the Halizoni, from his chariot. The spear of Agamemnon caught him on the broad of his back, just as he was turning in flight; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, and his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.

    Then Idomeneus killed Phaesus, son of Borus the Meonian, who had come from Varne. Mighty Idomeneus speared him on the right shoulder as he was mounting his chariot, and the darkness of death enshrouded him as he fell heavily from the car.

    The squires of Idomeneus spoiled him of his armour, while Menelaus, son of Atreus, killed Scamandrius the son of Strophius, a mighty huntsman and keen lover of the chase. Diana herself had taught him how to kill every kind of wild creature that is bred in mountain forests, but neither she nor his famed skill in archery could now save him, for the spear of Menelaus struck him in the back as he was flying; it struck him between the shoulders and went right through his chest, so that he fell headlong and his armour rang rattling round him.

    Meriones then killed Phereclus the son of Tecton, who was the son of Hermon, a man whose hand was skilled in all manner of cunning workmanship, for Pallas Minerva had dearly loved him. He it was that made the ships for Alexandrus, which were the beginning of all mischief, and brought evil alike both on the Trojans and on Alexandrus himself; for he heeded not the decrees of heaven. Meriones overtook him as he was flying, and struck him on the right buttock. The point of the spear went through the bone into the bladder, and death came upon him as he cried aloud and fell forward on his knees.

    Meges, moreover, slew Pedaeus, son of Antenor, who, though he was a bastard, had been brought up by Theano as one of her own children, for the love she bore her husband. The son of Phyleus got close up to him and drove a spear into the nape of his neck: it went under his tongue all among his teeth, so he bit the cold bronze, and fell dead in the dust.

    And Eurypylus, son of Euaemon, killed Hypsenor, the son of noble Dolopion, who had been made priest of the river Scamander, and was honoured among the people as though he were a god. Eurypylus gave him chase as he was flying before him, smote him with his sword upon the arm, and lopped his strong hand from off it. The bloody hand fell to the ground, and the shades of death, with fate that no man can withstand, came over his eyes.

    Thus furiously did the battle rage between them. As for the son of Tydeus, you could not say whether he was more among the Achaeans or the Trojans. He rushed across the plain like a winter torrent that has burst its barrier in full flood; no dykes, no walls of fruitful vineyards can embank it when it is swollen with rain from heaven, but in a moment it comes tearing onward, and lays many a field waste that many a strong man hand has reclaimed- even so were the dense phalanxes of the Trojans driven in rout by the son of Tydeus, and many though they were, they dared not abide his onslaught.

    Now when the son of Lycaon saw him scouring the plain and driving the Trojans pell-mell before him, he aimed an arrow and hit the front part of his cuirass near the shoulder: the arrow went right through the metal and pierced the flesh, so that the cuirass was covered with blood. On this the son of Lycaon shouted in triumph, “Knights Trojans, come on; the bravest of the Achaeans is wounded, and he will not hold out much longer if King Apollo was indeed with me when I sped from Lycia hither.”

    Thus did he vaunt; but his arrow had not killed Diomed, who withdrew and made for the chariot and horses of Sthenelus, the son of Capaneus. “Dear son of Capaneus,” said he, “come down from your chariot, and draw the arrow out of my shoulder.”

    Sthenelus sprang from his chariot, and drew the arrow from the wound, whereon the blood came spouting out through the hole that had been made in his shirt. Then Diomed prayed, saying, “Hear me, daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, unweariable, if ever you loved my father well and stood by him in the thick of a fight, do the like now by me; grant me to come within a spear’s throw of that man and kill him. He has been too quick for me and has wounded me; and now he is boasting that I shall not see the light of the sun much longer.”

    Thus he prayed, and Pallas Minerva heard him; she made his limbs supple and quickened his hands and his feet. Then she went up close to him and said, “Fear not, Diomed, to do battle with the Trojans, for I have set in your heart the spirit of your knightly father Tydeus. Moreover, I have withdrawn the veil from your eyes, that you know gods and men apart. If, then, any other god comes here and offers you battle, do not fight him; but should Jove’s daughter Venus come, strike her with your spear and wound her.”

    When she had said this Minerva went away, and the son of Tydeus again took his place among the foremost fighters, three times more fierce even than he had been before. He was like a lion that some mountain shepherd has wounded, but not killed, as he is springing over the wall of a sheep-yard to attack the sheep. The shepherd has roused the brute to fury but cannot defend his flock, so he takes shelter under cover of the buildings, while the sheep, panic-stricken on being deserted, are smothered in heaps one on top of the other, and the angry lion leaps out over the sheep-yard wall. Even thus did Diomed go furiously about among the Trojans.

    He killed Astynous, and shepherd of his people, the one with a thrust of his spear, which struck him above the nipple, the other with a sword- cut on the collar-bone, that severed his shoulder from his neck and back. He let both of them lie, and went in pursuit of Abas and Polyidus, sons of the old reader of dreams Eurydamas: they never came back for him to read them any more dreams, for mighty Diomed made an end of them. He then gave chase to Xanthus and Thoon, the two sons of Phaenops, both of them very dear to him, for he was now worn out with age, and begat no more sons to inherit his possessions. But Diomed took both their lives and left their father sorrowing bitterly, for he nevermore saw them come home from battle alive, and his kinsmen divided his wealth among themselves.

    Then he came upon two sons of Priam, Echemmon and Chromius, as they were both in one chariot. He sprang upon them as a lion fastens on the neck of some cow or heifer when the herd is feeding in a coppice. For all their vain struggles he flung them both from their chariot and stripped the armour from their bodies. Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them back to the ships.

    When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find Pandarus. When he had found the brave son of Lycaon he said, “Pandarus, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your renown as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your hands to Jove and send an arrow at this fellow who is going so masterfully about, and has done such deadly work among the Trojans. He has killed many a brave man- unless indeed he is some god who is angry with the Trojans about their sacrifices, and and has set his hand against them in his displeasure.”

    And the son of Lycaon answered, “Aeneas, I take him for none other than the son of Tydeus. I know him by his shield, the visor of his helmet, and by his horses. It is possible that he may be a god, but if he is the man I say he is, he is not making all this havoc without heaven’s help, but has some god by his side who is shrouded in a cloud of darkness, and who turned my arrow aside when it had hit him. I have taken aim at him already and hit him on the right shoulder; my arrow went through the breastpiece of his cuirass; and I made sure I should send him hurrying to the world below, but it seems that I have not killed him. There must be a god who is angry with me. Moreover I have neither horse nor chariot. In my father’s stables there are eleven excellent chariots, fresh from the builder, quite new, with cloths spread over them; and by each of them there stand a pair of horses, champing barley and rye; my old father Lycaon urged me again and again when I was at home and on the point of starting, to take chariots and horses with me that I might lead the Trojans in battle, but I would not listen to him; it would have been much better if I had done so, but I was thinking about the horses, which had been used to eat their fill, and I was afraid that in such a great gathering of men they might be ill-fed, so I left them at home and came on foot to Ilius armed only with my bow and arrows. These it seems, are of no use, for I have already hit two chieftains, the sons of Atreus and of Tydeus, and though I drew blood surely enough, I have only made them still more furious. I did ill to take my bow down from its peg on the day I led my band of Trojans to Ilius in Hector’s service, and if ever I get home again to set eyes on my native place, my wife, and the greatness of my house, may some one cut my head off then and there if I do not break the bow and set it on a hot fire- such pranks as it plays me.”

    Aeneas answered, “Say no more. Things will not mend till we two go against this man with chariot and horses and bring him to a trial of arms. Mount my chariot, and note how cleverly the horses of Tros can speed hither and thither over the plain in pursuit or flight. If Jove again vouchsafes glory to the son of Tydeus they will carry us safely back to the city. Take hold, then, of the whip and reins while I stand upon the car to fight, or else do you wait this man’s onset while I look after the horses.”

    “Aeneas.” replied the son of Lycaon, “take the reins and drive; if we have to fly before the son of Tydeus the horses will go better for their own driver. If they miss the sound of your voice when they expect it they may be frightened, and refuse to take us out of the fight. The son of Tydeus will then kill both of us and take the horses. Therefore drive them yourself and I will be ready for him with my spear.”

  13. The word shit (also shite in British and Hiberno-English[3]) is considered profanity and is usually avoided in formal speech. Minced oath substitutes for the word shit in English include shoot,[4][5] shucks,[6] sugar,[7] and the euphemistic backronym, Sugar, Honey, Ice(d) Tea.[8][9]

    In the word’s literal sense, it has a rather small range of common usages. An unspecified or collective occurrence of feces is generally shit or some shit; a single deposit of feces is sometimes a shit or a piece of shit; and to defecate is to shit or to take a shit. While it is common to speak of shit as existing in a pile, a load, a hunk, and other quantities and configurations, such expressions flourish most strongly in the figurative. For practical purposes, when actual defecation and excreta are spoken of, it is either through creative euphemism or with a vague and fairly rigid literalism.[original research?]

    When uttered as an exclamation or interjection, shit may convey astonishment or a feeling of being favorably impressed or disgusted. Similar utterances might be damn!, wow! or yuck!.

    Piece of shit may also be used figuratively to describe a particularly loathsome individual, or an object that is of poor quality (“this car is a piece of shit”, often abbreviated to “P.O.S.”).

    One study published in 2017 argued that “shit studies” is a cross-disciplinary meta-field of rhetorical inquiry about human communication and reasoning. The authors explained, “rhetorical studies has theorized ‘shit’ in terms of the communication of transformation, style, and textual relations,” particularly in relation to claims of expertise to topics such as “anti-semitism” and “wine-tasting.”[10] They conclude that bullshit speech is one-sided discourse that is difficult to penetrate because it contains “ideological barriers to the expectation of mutuality,” working to deflect critical responses.
    Vague noun

    Shit can be used as a generic mass noun similar to stuff; for instance, This show is funny (as) shit or This test is hard (as) shit, or That was stupid shit. These three usages (with funny, hard, and stupid or another synonym of stupid) are heard most commonly in the United States. Using “as” denotes a subtle change in the meaning of the expression; however, the overall intent is basically the same.

    In the expression Get your shit together! the word shit can refer either to one’s wits or composure or to one’s things, gear, etc. He doesn’t have his shit together means that his affairs are disordered, reflecting not bad luck or forces beyond his control, but his personal shortcomings.

    To shoot the shit is to have a friendly but pointless conversation, as in “Come by my place some time and we’ll shoot the shit.”

    A shithole is any unpleasant place to be, much like a hellhole. This usage originates from a reference to a pit toilet.

    A crock of shit is something (a situation, explanation, argument, etc.) that is nonsense or fabricated as a deception or evasion; i.e. bullshit. Often abbreviated simply as crock. Example: “You expect me to believe that ?? What a crock!”

    The phrase built like a brick shithouse is used in the United States to compliment a curvaceous woman, but in other English-speaking countries to compliment men with athletic physiques.[11] This meaning originates from the observation that most shithouses are rather ramshackle affairs constructed of plywood or scrap sheets of steel.

    The shitter is a slang term for a toilet, and can be used like the phrase … down the toilet to suggest that something has been wasted. Example: “This CD player quit working one friggin’ week after I bought it, and I lost the receipt! Twenty bucks right down the shitter!”

    Shit on a shingle is U.S. military slang for creamed chipped beef on toast. In polite company this can be abbreviated as SOS.[12][13]

  14. Have them come in through McAllen, Texas. No vax mandate and no testing. Over 1 million have used this entrance to the United States and even received assistance in traveling to their final destination.

  15. Don

    ‘Science went out the window’

    Yes, it was so terrible that horse dewormers (and before that malaria medications) weren’t used as dictated by the ‘science’ of the anti-vaxxers

  16. It is utterly unwarranted to have fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents returning to the United States by air being required to have a negative Covid-19 test within three days of travel. Such testing for these passengers is both a hassle and costly. Further, the new CDC order remains a burden in stimulating more travel for tourism and business. I’ll refrain from foreign travel until more sane minds prevail!

  17. Shows how idiotic the Democrat government and liberal media are. Don’t argue, you’ll lose. Your president was the fifth choice among Democrats last year.

  18. Ok I’ll further my argument:
    Dogs make terrible dog catchers, schizophrenics do a lousy job of running an asylum,
    And this guy from China wrote a terribly boring novel that jammed up my inbox.
    Leff – get us out of here!

  19. @Jon

    STOP IT with the “horse de-wormer” lies!! You are the poster child for MSM brainwashing. How about you actually do some research and learn something instead of letting the media tell you what to think???

    Here, I’ll do it FOR you: https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/tables/table-2e/

    What’s the 2nd drug listed that’s APPROVED for treating the China virus??

    *GASP* Is it possible? Yes, Virginia, it is! IVERMECTIN!!!!

    What a loser…

  20. @Amazing Larry – I guess you missed the words after approved in the link you provided. They were “or under evaluation”. So far, none of the trials which were not revoked have found any statistically improved results over doing nothing. Yet people still yell at the doctors and nurses when they only provide the normal standard of care, which doesn’t include your favorite horse dewormer.

  21. @ John H

    Then so is Remdesivir, which has a 53% FATALITY rate! Why are hospitals coerced into making a drug that has a higher death rate than the disease they are treating part of their protocols???

    Ivermectin has been proven safe and effective (and CHEAP) for years!

    WAKE UP!!!!

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