News broke this week that the US will soon be dropping its travel ban for international travelers who have been vaccinated. Starting in early November, these individuals will not need to go through the arduous process of getting a waiver to enter the country. The new rule is meant to combat preventable diseases like measles and other infectious diseases that are making their way into America from all over the world.
Currently, the US requires all international travelers who are entering the country to have a signed waiver that says they have been vaccinated or are otherwise protected from these diseases. The process of getting this waiver can be extremely daunting and time-consuming, often requiring months of preparation. This has resulted in fewer coming to America for study, work, tourism, or other activities.
The new rule will eliminate the waiver requirement, allowing travelers to obtain a vaccination record instead. However, it will not be removed entirely due to concerns that some individuals may falsely obtain vaccinations without actually being vaccinated. This is especially concerning in countries where there are no requirements for children or adults to be vaccinated in order to attend school or work.
This change in policy is a major win for international travelers and those studying or working here, especially since the president has pushed to reinstate the travel ban on several occasions this year. The new rule goes into effect on Friday, Nov 03 2016 and will be effective for all countries that were included in the US’s 2017 travel ban.
Here is a list of countries whose visitors are still required to obtain a waiver. Any international traveler who has lived in or visited one of these countries since their listed travel ban date will be required to go through the process outlined above (i.e., getting a vaccination record). If they do not, they will need to apply for the waiver.
Afghanistan Liberia Rwanda Somalia Angola Libya Sierra Leone South Sudan Benin Madagascar Singapore Burundi Mali Somalia Central African Republic Mauritania South Sudan Chad Mozambique Syria Congo Myanmar Swaziland Djibouti Namibia Venezuela Eritrea Nauru Yemen Guinea Nigeria Zimbabwe Guinea-Bissau North Korea Haiti
Finally, as always, please use this as an opportunity to do some good. Spread this news around, especially if you know of people who are affected by these travel bans.