From next week, international air travellers, federal employees and contractors will not have to fulfil COVID vaccine requirements to travel to the United States of America. The current rules demanding the same will cease to exist from May 11.
On the same day, the public health emergency implemented for the pandemic will also end. In a statement on Monday, the White House said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also separately announced that they will start the process to end their vaccination requirements for head start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain non-citizens at the land border.
"The federal government successfully implemented requirements for its workforce in a way that increased vaccination to achieve 98 per cent compliance, reflecting employees who had received at least one dose of a vaccine or had a pending or approved exception or extension request filed by January 2022.
"We also put in place vaccination requirements for certain international travellers to slow the spread of new variants entering the country and to allow our healthcare system time to effectively manage access to care if faced with an increase in cases and hospitalisations," said the statement.
In 2021, the administration had announced Covid-19 vaccination requirements to promote the health and safety of individuals and the efficiency of workplaces, protecting vital sectors of our economy and vulnerable populations.
Till date, nearly 270 million Americans have received at least one shot of a Covid vaccine.
As of Tuesday morning, the country's overall Covid caseload and death toll stood at 106,678,503 and 1,161,164, respectively.
(With IANS inputs)