Last month, the White House and Centers for Disease Control announced new vaccination and testing requirements for all persons entering the US by air starting on 8 November.
After that date, any non-citizen, non-immigrant traveller to the US will have to provide proof of having been fully vaccinated with an FDA or World Heath Organisation-approved Covid-19 vaccine before boarding a flight to the country, unless they are eligible for one of a small number of exemptions authorised by the CDC.
According to a senior White House official who briefed reporters on the plan, one of those exceptions will be for anyone traveling to the US who has not reached their 18th birthday.
“In many circumstances, children are not yet eligible for vaccines that are authorized on the combined…FDA and WHO [Emergency Use Listing],” the official explained.
While those under 18 will not be required to show proof of vaccination before boarding inbound flights, they will be subject to a stringent testing requirement. Under the new CDC rules, both children and anyone else who cannot provide sufficient proof of vaccination will have to furnish a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within one day of travel to the US.
“These are strict safety protocols that follow the science and public health to enhance the safety of Americans here at home, and the safety of international air travel,” the official said. “The best way to slow the spread of Covid-19 and the emergence of new variants is to act quickly to reduce the spread of infection through vaccination, layered with the additional mitigation measures, including … timely and effective case detection through testing, contact tracing, and public health follow up for all international travellers”.