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Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

Details: Travelers will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of a WHO-authorized vaccine, which includes four options that have not been authorized by the FDA: AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Mixed-dose vaccines will also be accepted.

  • Children under 18 will not need to provide proof of vaccination due to their ineligibility in many countries, but those between the ages of 2 and 17 will still be required to test negative within the previous three days.
  • Limited exemptions will be applied to foreign nationals with medical contraindications to the vaccine, those traveling for emergency or humanitarian reasons, or those from countries with a vaccination rate below 10% due to a lack of supply.
  • Unvaccinated travelers, regardless of citizenship or visa status, will need to test negative for COVID-19 within one day of departure, rather than the previous three-day requirement.

Between the lines: Millions of people have received vaccines that are not currently authorized for emergency use by the WHO, such as Russia's Sputnik V. For now, they will continue to be restricted from traveling to the U.S.

Go deeper

Dec 6, 2021 - Health

CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge

Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised COVID-19 travel advisories to their highest levels for a number of countries on Monday, including France and Portugal.

Why it matters: The detection of the new Omicron variant last month has spurred fears of a new wave of virus infections.

Dec 6, 2021 - Health

Cruise ship COVID outbreak: Louisiana officials find "probable" Omicron case

The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship. Photo: Gerard Bottino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Louisiana health authorities said a suspected Omicron case was one of 17 confirmed COVID-19 infections among the passengers and crew of a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned to New Orleans Sunday.

Driving the news: The Norwegian Breakaway departed New Orleans on Nov. 28 with more than 3,200 people on board, before making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico, according to a Louisiana Department of Health statement.

Dec 5, 2021 - World

UK to require pre-departure negative COVID test amid Omicron fears

Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo: Tom Nicholson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The United Kingdom on Saturday announced that all travelers would be required to submit a negative coronavirus test before boarding a flight, regardless of vaccination status.

Why it matters: The move comes amid fears that the newly-identified Omicron variant possesses enough mutations to evade immune systems and drive up a new wave of infections.