Thursday, February 9, 2023

US Requires Bahamians to be Fully Vaccinated for Travel

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Foreign travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 according to new rules established by the Biden administration.

The new system will be implemented in early November when Bahamians and other international travelers will only be allowed to fly to the US if they are fully vaccinated and able to show proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S bound flight.

White House Covid coordinator Jeffrey Zients said, “We will move to this much stricter global system, so we will have a consistent approach across all countries, it will require foreign nationals to be vaccinated, to prove they’re vaccinated, and then to go through the testing and contact tracing regiments.”

Foreign nationals will have to be tested three days before departure to the U.S. and show proof of a negative test.

The CDC will also require airlines to collect information for each U.S.-bound traveler, including their phone number and email address, to aid public health officials in contact tracing.

Why it matters

On the campaign trail, former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that the USA would soon require only fully vaccinated travelers to enter its borders. He admonished Bahamians to get fully vaccinated to be able to travel to the US.

The Bahamas has already secured three vaccines: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

State of play

The US has not yet stipulated what it constitutes as fully vaccinated and what vaccines will be qualified for entry.

The new policy applies only to air travel.

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