US to require vaccines for all non-US nationals crossing into its borders
US president Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travellers crossing US land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on 22 January, the administration planned to announce Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
A senior administration official said the requirement brings the rules for essential travellers in line with those that took effect earlier this month for leisure travellers, when the US reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.
Essential travellers entering by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official said.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement.
The rules pertain to non-US nationals. American citizens and permanent residents may still enter the US regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional testing hurdles.
Hello I’m Samantha Lock and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus crisis.
Once again, the world is showing deep divisions in the virus’ spread, vaccination uptake and government response.
South Korea has reported a new daily record of 4,116 new coronavirus cases as the country battles to contain a surge in serious cases requiring hospitalisation.
The country recently switched to a “living with Covid-19” plan aimed at lifting rigid distancing rules and ultimately reopening after reaching vaccination goals last month.
Over in the US, the Biden administration plans to require all essential, nonresident travellers crossing its land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on 22 January.
The requirement brings the rules for essential travellers in line with those that took effect earlier this month for leisure travellers.
- Spain seeks tighter Covid restrictions as Germany considers mandatory vaccinations.
- Europe reported an 11% increase in new weekly cases while the South-East Asia region reported a decrease of 11%, the latest World Health Organization weekly report reveals.
- The Biden administration seeks to reinstate workplace vaccine mandates after asking a federal appeals court on Tuesday to lift a court-ordered stay on a sweeping workplace Covid-19 vaccine rule that requires employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Delaying the rule would lead to thousands of hospitalisations and deaths, the administration said in a filing with the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Kenya plans to deny government services to those who are unvaccinated. In a press briefing on 21 November, health minister Mutahi Kagwe said that from 21 December people seeking in-person government services should be fully vaccinated and should show proof of vaccination. The services include tax, immigration, port, and hospital services, he added.
- New Zealand to reopen borders to vaccinated visitors in the opening months of 2022, for the first time since a snap closure took effect in the first month of the pandemic. The country’s borders have been closed for more than a year and a half.
- Delays to England’s vaccination rollout may mean some 12- to 15-year-olds may not get their Covid jab until February next year – 15 weeks after the government’s original target for offering the jab to all eligible teenagers, according to Labour.
- Total Covid-19 deaths across Europe are likely to exceed 2 million by March next year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, adding that the pandemic had become the number one cause of death in the region.
- A third dose is likely needed to be fully vaccinated, Dr Anthony Fauci said, adding that the majority of Americans who have been vaccinated should receive the booster shot.
- Seven US doctors contracted Covid after attending an anti-vaccine summit in Florida.
- Justin Trudeau has said that his top priority for his new government is to get Covid-19 in Canada under control and get more people vaccinated as he pledged support to Canadian industries, which he said were still struggling due to the pandemic.
- According to an analysis of the Covid case rates across the UK, 75% of local authorities experienced a week-on-week rise in the seven days to 19 November.
- The UK reported a further 42,484 Covid-19 cases and 165 additional deaths, official data shows. The weekly tally was up by 9% to reach 297,658 who have tested positive.
- France announced that there were more than 30,000 Covid infections in the past 24 hours. On Monday, France reported 5,266 new cases.
- The Netherlands hit a new weekly record on Tuesday – with Covid cases rising by 39% – and intensive care unit admissions rising sharply. The figures show a 19% rise in hospital admissions over the last week and a 26% rise in intensive care unit admissions.
- Those in the UK were today urged to take a rapid Covid test before mixing in crowded indoor spaces, marking a change in government and NHS guidance. Previously, the guidance advised the public to use lateral flow tests twice a week.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband blamed the nation’s poor vaccination rate in part on “a certain German laziness and complacency”.
- The Netherlands has started transporting coronavirus patients to Germany in a bid to ease pressure on hospitals struggling to cope with a surge in cases.
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