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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Donald Trump has introduced a number of changes to the There have been lots of changes to policies involving travel to the US over the last few years, with Donald Trump driving changes to immigration policies and now the ESTA fee looks set to increase too.
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The ESTA system that is available to citizens of the Visa Waiver Program can usually be processed very quickly but there are times when this is not possible. Earlier this year, the US government updated their guidance to state that people traveling to the US should apply at least 72 hours before the departure time.
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