New Delhi: Passengers fully vaccinated against Covid-19, including Indians, can now travel to the United States from November 8 after the country announced on Friday that it will allow foreign nationals who have taken both jabs against the infection. In what will be a beginning to the end of unprecedented restrictions imposed early last year, a White House official said the policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.Also Read - Omicron: Tunisia Confirms First Case of Omicron Variant; Strain Found in Citizen Returning From Istanbul

Starting November 8, the US will admit fully vaccinated foreign air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil, a livemint report said. Also Read - Omicron Spreads to 38 Nations in Less Than 14 Days, Is India Ready For 'Third Wave'?

The policy was already outlined in early September, where White House officials said the country would lift restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries in early November. Not all the technical and logistical details of the new policy have been announced yet. Also Read - Amid Omicron Surge, South Africa Witnesses Second-Highest Covid Infection in Children Under 5

Here are 7 things to know about the latest development:

  1. US health authorities have said that all vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) would be accepted for entry by air. At present, this includes the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
  2. The US will consider people arriving by plane vaccinated if they received shots that are either authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization.
  3. Unvaccinated foreigners will be generally barred from entry, while unvaccinated Americans will need a negative Covid-19 test.
  4. The move is set to provide a massive relief for large Indian diaspora stuck in the US and were unable to travel to India for the past one-and-a-half year as there would be many hassles returning back. Now, with the latest announcement, many Indians living in US can plan their travel to the country and return back when appropriate.
  5. Indians travelling to US will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, and will need to show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test. Foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test.
  6. The move to a vaccine-based entry system brings the US into line with the European Union, which started using Covid-pass apps at the start of summer, and the UK, which made the switch in recent weeks.
  7. For the US, the date of November 8 also applies an opening along land borders with Canada and Mexico announced earlier this week.

(With inputs from agencies)