CDC Relaxes Rules for Cruise Ship Passengers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday that unvaccinated foreign nationals under the age of 18 traveling to the United States by air do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Saturday signed a revised order clarifying that foreign national children who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to isolate for seven days upon arrival in the United States.
A CDC order issued on Monday had raised alarm among some foreign travelers that their children would need to quarantine for that long after arriving.
On November 8, the United States is lifting the extraordinary travel restrictions that have barred most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. It is also imposing new rules requiring nearly all foreign adult air visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Airlines and others had pressed for the changes for foreign children, saying it would harm international tourism if children had to self-quarantine upon arrival. The exemption from self-quarantine also applies to unvaccinated foreign visitors who are part of clinical trials.
The CDC said earlier this week that non-tourist travelers from nearly 50 countries with nationwide vaccination rates of less than 10% will also be eligible for exemption from the vaccine requirement but will need to self-quarantine for seven days upon arrival.
Those receiving an exemption will generally need to be vaccinated within 60 days after arriving in the United States.
The CDC has said it will accept any vaccine authorized for use by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization and will accept mixed-dose coronavirus vaccines.
On Friday, the Homeland Security Department said travelers should be prepared for "longer than normal wait times" starting November 8 when the U.S. allows fully vaccinated tourists to cross land borders. The United States has barred non-essential travelers crossing land borders from Mexico and Canada since March 2020.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)