I’m with you, I’m tired of hearing about it too. But nonetheless, another significant bit of commotion seems to be afoot in the White House, which is now focused on ways to end travel bans impacting much of the world, particularly the European Union and the UK.
After President Biden promised “movement” just weeks ago, new stirrings of imminent plans are here, and all focus squarely around one concept: vaccination. It sound simple enough, but figuring out secure ways to provide proof, and which vaccines to accept is proving more difficult than travelers would like.
USA Looks To End Travel Bans For Vaccinated
The song is the same, the mood is a bit different, but still, no one is dancing. Visitors from the EU, UK and a variety of global areas remained banned from entering the USA, if they’ve remained in any of these places within the previous 14 days.
There’s renewed hope, according to a BBC report, that change could come within the month, or next month for all vaccinated visitors.
Why not today? Hold ups include bilateral work to validate vaccination certificates, and CDC guidance on which vaccines will be accepted by US authorities.
At present, even US CDC vaccination cards remain crude and easily tampered with, and no clear system of digital validation is in place in most states, or at a federal level. New York is one of the few states to create secured digital passes, with ‘Excelsior Pass’.
Vaccines such as Sinopharm and Sputnik, created by China and Russia respectively, haven’t shown meaningful efficacy against new strains, and these vaccines were used by multiple countries to inoculate citizen in the early stages of the pandemic.
Many countries have chosen to only recognize vaccines which hold approval from their relevant local medical authority, such as the European Medicines Agency, Public Health England or the US CDC.
Since many countries have used a variety of vaccines, some of which may be locally approved while others have not, US officials are dragging their heels, in ways only government bureaucrats know how to.
GSTP Take: Enough Already
US travel bans are woefully misplaced at this point, particularly from areas with lower transmission and risk than posed abroad. Even more so, if all eligible visitors are fully vaccinated.
At present, visitors from countries with slim vaccination rates are still able to enter without restriction or proof of vaccination, while heavily vaccinated areas and trusted partners remain under blanket bans.
Before vaccines, the logic to stem the flow of visitors from high risk areas had some merit, however misplaced by leadership at the time, but now that covid-19 vaccines are mitigating most of the worst outcomes for overwhelming percentages of people, it’s time to buy in.
It’s time to reopen the world to anyone with the sense to be vaccinated – and certainly the United States, which just hit its goal of 70% of adults being vaccinated with at least one dose. Over to you, Mr. President.