Vaccinations for International Travel: Clearing Up the Confusion

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
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WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that when the U.S. borders officially open to international visitors in November, it will accept proof of 6 different Covid-19 vaccinations for entry into the country.

All 6 vaccines have either been authorized for emergency use during the pandemic or fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, or both: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech (which recently received full FDA approval), Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

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International travelers coming to the U.S. for a trade show will need to show proof of full vaccination prior to boarding U.S.-bound planes. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test will also be required within three days of departure, and contact tracing and masking will also be mandatory; however, there will be no quarantine mandate.

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The remaining question is exactly when in November international travel can start back up. In September, the White House announced that the U.S. would lift travel restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries — including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe — who are fully vaccinated. However, various White House officials, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and airline and tourism officials have all said they have no firm date yet, and that one would be announced closer to November.

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U.S. trade shows, including IMEX America, being held November 9-11 in Las Vegas, have been forced to take a wait-and-see approach. “With the U.S. saying early November, we are obviously hopeful this will be in time for the show,” Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, told Trade Show Executive. “We know that we have many buyers and exhibitors waiting to confirm their participation should this be the case.”

Reach Carina Bauer at carina.bauer@imexhibitions.com