The American government determined on Monday, Sept. 20, that the United States will require proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within three days of departure for foreigners who wish to enter the country. However, it has not yet been revealed which vaccines will be accepted.
With the decision, people leaving from Brazil to the U.S. no longer need to quarantine 14 days in other countries. Thus, the United States’ travel restrictions with various countries, including Brazil, which lasted about a year and a half, are ended.
Although President Joe Biden was against reopening at the beginning of this year, it is clear it no longer makes sense to maintain health restrictions with many countries. In Brazil, for example, there has been a significant increase in the number of vaccinated people. Additionally, Biden has already been under great internal pressure from the American tourism industry, which suffered the most during the pandemic in the U.S., to reopen the borders. Tourism represents 2.8% of the American gross domestic product ($712 billion), and 77 million people visit the U.S. annually.
The decision to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19, however, may not be well received by some travelers who are opposed to vaccination. Currently there is a great ethical debate in the U.S. as well as in Brazil about vaccine requirements.
I believe, however, that the decision of the American authorities is based on technical and health criteria, without any political or ideological influence. It is a measure with the well-being and safety of people as an objective and makes it possible to reopen borders, which is essential for job creation and improvement of the American economy.
The author is a lawyer and founder of AG Immigration.