Sunday, October 24, 2021

New travel restrictions lift era-old ban on weakened immune systems

The Trump administration announced a fresh step on Tuesday: The U.S. is ending its controversial international travel ban on people with certain types of weakened immune systems for the first time in 16 years.

In an emergency rule posted on the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it will allow anyone who is fully vaccinated with 12 to 15 months of experience — or has had some time in the last 15 years — to enter the country for travel to “essential government appointments.”

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that she was “happy to take action to clear up confusion and unnecessary red tape” that has caused “great anxiety and inconvenience for the millions of Americans who have traveled abroad over the past decade.”

It remains unclear when the policy will take effect. The move applies to all international travel, including to the United States.

The nearly 12-year ban on the same guidelines had been lifted in 2006, but was subsequently reinstated due to numerous court cases. Now, that ban will be lifted.

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