The United States is developing a “new system for international travel” that includes tracking travelers’ contacts once bans are lifted that prevent many people from around the world from entering the country.
White House’s Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zienz told the Travel and Tourism Advisory Committee that the government has no plans to ease restrictions immediately because of the Delta variant.
In early August, Reuters reported that the White House intended to make it a condition that foreign visitors be vaccinated to enter the country.
Zienz said the new system, which would be “safer”, would replace the existing restrictions and that Washington was “considering” asking visitors to be vaccinated for Covid-19. “Vaccination rates are important here as well as in other countries,” he added, urging travel companies such as airlines to quickly make vaccination of their employees mandatory.
Extraordinary travel restrictions were first imposed on those coming from China in January 2020. Since then, many other countries have been added, most recently India in May.
The government wants to lift travel restrictions “as soon as possible,” Zienz said.
The new system will allow data to be collected to track travelers’ contacts so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can contact them if they are likely to have been exposed to the new coronavirus.