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Biden administration planning to require foreign visitors be fully vaccinated

Eventually, foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. from all countries will need to be fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions, a White House official said.
Travelers walk through John F. Kennedy Airport on May 28, 2021 in New York.
Travelers walk through John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on May 28.Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is developing a plan that will require foreign visitors to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a White House official said Wednesday.

The plan is in the works now so it will be ready when the U.S. reopens, the official told NBC News. Current travel restrictions remain in place because of concerns about the delta variant.

Reuters was first to report the Biden administration's plans.

The U.S. bars entry for most noncitizens who have been in the U.K., European Union nations, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran or Brazil within the last 14 days. It's unclear when the U.S. might lift those restrictions.

The more transmissible delta variant is spreading, both in the U.S. and around the world, and U.S. officials are working to develop a plan for a consistent and safe international travel policy, the official said.

The vaccination requirement for foreign visitors would take a phased approach, the official said, and it would include limited exceptions.

The interagency working groups are developing a policy and planning process to be prepared for when the time is right to move to the new system, the official added.