a tall monument in the distance

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.

a tall monument and a building

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’.

a passport with a eagle on it

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.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. Sure it’s time!!!!!
    As international couples we are apart since June 2020 and both vaccinated! Time to end wit all precautions, but please end it!

  2. I’m UK-based and received my second Pfizer vaccination back in May. I have four flights to the US booked between next month and next April, but at this rate I’ll be watching them all slip past, like deadlines! It’s frustrating, depressing and sad for both the individual and the industry.

  3. Agreed. It’s time, especially when US citizens are able to visit the EU quite freely. Let’s hope that rules are changed to permit fully-vaxxed US citizens to use the CDC certificate when returning to the US, too (instead of a test). Since that’s a separate issue, I’ll leave it at that.

  4. When his handlers were campaigning for him to be elected, they promised that they – er, Biden – would put an end to the “harmful and counterproductive” relationship between the U.S. and Europe. They pressured Europe to reopen its borders to Americans and they promised to do the same.

    Europe promptly did so and then Biden forgot where he was. His handlers, meanwhile, are too busy trying to secure his next ice cream cone to be bothered with effectively running the nation.

  5. I’m an a,Eric an citizen living in Northern Ireland who is flying to San Francisco towards the end of the month. I’ll be there for 2 weeks. I am fully vaccinated with Astra Zeneca which is approved by world health organisation but I don’t know if it will be accepted in San Francisco when their vaccination mandate for dining out and other leisure events comes into play on 20th of august. The statement says they will accept vaccinations from foreign governments which is encouraging . Any insights from anyone! I’m getting nervous!

  6. Sorry, mean that to state that I am an American citizen (in case you couldn’t make that out in the above). Mary Hughes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *