The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Jeff Zients, has revealed that the United States is working to create a system for international travel, which is expected to consist of contact tracing.
This means that by creating such a system, the US authorities will have access to the Coronavirus and other personal data of the travellers in case they are exposed to the COVID-19 disease during their trip, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Reuters, Zients had told the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board that the Biden administration does not plan to ease travel restrictions. However, contact tracing will be helpful when the restrictions are lifted in the future and when people all over the world will be allowed to enter the US.
“We are exploring considering vaccination requirements for foreign nationals travelling to the United States,” Zients stated.
No official statement has been given on when international travellers will be able to travel to the US. However, it has been suggested that EU travellers may be banned from entering the US until the 2022 midterm elections.
The United States has been keeping their borders shut for international travellers for over 17 months now in a bid to protect public health and the further spread of the COVID-19 and its mutations. The US Department of State introduced four proclamations in 2020, which have banned entry for an unknown period for all persons travelling from the Schengen Area countries, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa.
The decision of the US to continue keeping restrictions for travellers who have been fully vaccinated against the virus has been seen as an outdated approach by many.
The Ambassador of Ireland to the US, Daniel Mulhall, and the Ambassador of the European Union to the US, Stavros Lambrinidis, have said that they expect the US to ease the restrictions and allow families to get together.
In addition, the US is facing a lot of criticism for not allowing entry to vaccinated travellers, considering that the US has significantly higher infection rates and lower vaccination rates compared to the EU countries.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, as of September 16, the US has identified 41,066,110 Coronavirus infection cases. Only during the last 24 hours, the country registered 125,961 new cases.
Earlier today, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the US economy is facing a loss of around $198 million per day due to the current entry restrictions. Unlike the level of 2019, at the moment, the US has banned entry for more than half of the top 20 most significant markets in terms of inbound spending.