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19 July 2024

US to end COVID vaccination requirements on May 11 for foreign travelers, federal workers

Published
By Reuters

 The United States will end its COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international travelers and federal workers on May 11, when the coronavirus public health emergency ends, the White House said on Monday.

In February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to lift the requirement that most foreign air travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the few remaining pandemic travel restrictions still in place.

The Biden administration last June dropped its requirement that people arriving in the U.S. by air must test negative for COVID but kept in place Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination requirements for most foreign travelers.

The rules barred Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic from taking part in some U.S. tournaments because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, but from May 12 he could freely enter and play in major American tournaments like the U.S. Open.

The Homeland Security Department also said Monday starting May 12 it will no longer require non-U.S. travelers entering the United States via land ports of entry and ferries to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination upon request.
The Biden administration's rules imposed in September 2021 requiring about 3.5 million federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated or face firing or disciplinary action have not been enforced for over a year after a series of court rulings.

A federal appeals court in March upheld a decision blocking enforcement of the employee vaccine requirement.

The White House told federal agencies in October 2022 not to enforce the contractor vaccine requirements even after a nationwide injunction was lifted.

The Health and Human Services Department said it will start the process to end vaccination requirements for Head Start educators and government-certified healthcare facilities.