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Last updateFri, 15 Oct 2021 5pm

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US to upgrade travel rules

Jeff  Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said this week that the U.S. federal government is exploring the possibility of mandating proof of Covid vaccination for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States.

He gave no indication, however, whether this means the United States is ready to lift restrictions for travelers who have been fully vaccinated from the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.

The U.S. travel rules have been criticized as unbalanced since some countries that are tackling pandemic successfully are on the restricted entry list, while others with high rates of Covid-19 infections are not. (Despite Mexico’s high daily case and fatality rate, air travel from here is not restricted.)

Neither did Zients comment on whether the U.S. border with Mexico will soon reopen to non-essential travelers, a restriction that has badly affected businesses in U.S. border towns.

The Mexican government this week urged the United States to reopen the border, arguing that 90 percent of Mexican adults living in 45 border region municipalities have now completed their vaccination programs.

Zients also said the United States is also looking at introducing a system to collect contact tracing data from all passengers entering the United States.

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