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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

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Nov 27, 2021 - World

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 22, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz - Pool/Getty Images)

South Africa said Saturday it's being "punished" for detecting the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries rush to enact travel bans and restrictions.

Driving the news: The U.S. imposed air travel restrictions from eight countries Friday in response to the Omicron variant. Countries in Europe and Asia have also implemented their own travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Health

COVID vaccines of the future might not be shots

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As vaccine makers pursue the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, some are working to develop products that wouldn't require a shot.

Why it matters: Delivering a vaccine through a pill or a nasal spray could make them much easier to administer, especially in places where distribution is challenging — or even for people who just don't like needles.