US Travel Restrictions Could Be Eased by May

Due to the so-far impressive success of the vaccination program in the US and in several other countries around the world, the US could lift some international travel restrictions as early as May. The easing of restrictions would include the current restrictions on the bordering neighbours Canada and Mexico (TN visa required), as well as for countries such as the UK and Europe.

The Biden administration has just announced that all of the adult population in the US would be offered their COVID-19 vaccination by May 1, which will enable them to start easing restrictions to allow more people to travel to the US. It is expected that the restrictions could be eased around mid-May, opening up the opportunity for tourism and other non-essential travel to the US.

Joe Biden has stated that the decisions around lifting travel restrictions will be a “coordinated approach based on science and public health criteria”. This also means that each country is likely to be assessed on an individual basis to determine when travel restrictions will be lifted

With Canada’s vaccination program not rolling out as efficiently as the US’ program, the Canadian border could take longer for the restrictions to be eased. Current data shows that the majority of Canadians should be vaccinated by September, which is much later than the US’ projected timeframe for vaccinating all eligible adults.

Canadian and Mexican borders remain closed for non-essential travel

Despite the optimism for future travel restrictions getting eased, The US Department of Homeland Security also announced that the borders for Mexico and Canada will remain closed for non-essential travel until at least 21 April.

When will travel restrictions be lifted for the US?

In line with many other countries around the world, the US administration is relying on scientific data and the speed of its own vaccination program to assess when it is deemed appropriate to lift travel restrictions. With new variants of COVID-19 emerging in recent months, this has added some more concerns to lifting international travel. Therefore, the US will be prioritizing the prevention of new variants entering the US, in case the vaccinations are found to be less effective for them.

However, as new research and evidence are released, the US will be looking to open up the borders for the countries that are deemed the lowest risk to the US, which is likely to be the countries that have been most progressive with their own vaccination program rollout.

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