WASHINGTON D.C.: A senior White House advisor has said that the Biden administration is considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and contact tracing for international visitors, as part of the updating of entry restrictions covering foreigners traveling to the country.
Current travel restrictions will remain until the government puts in place a new system for international travel due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, said Jeffrey Zients, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaking to a panel that advises Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will play a key role in the new system.
"We will be conducting contact tracing to enable the CDC to monitor inbound international travelers and those around them if someone has been potentially exposed to COVID-19. We are also considering vaccination requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the U.S.," Zients added.
Most non-Americans traveling from China, India, the UK, most of Europe, Brazil and other countries over the past 14 months could not enter the U.S.
However, airlines and other travel companies are pressuring the administration to ease restrictions, especially for UK visitors.
Also, a government expert on infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he would support a proposal requiring people on domestic flights to be vaccinated, but the airline industry opposes such a restriction, claiming it could lead to long lines at airports and will be difficult to enforce.
Additionally, the travel industry noted in a statement that vaccine mandates will be unfair and will single out air travelers, as those traveling by train, bus or car will not be affected.