Biden administration reportedly considering barring unvaccinated international travelers from entering U.S.
“The State Department and the White House have not yet finalized the policy”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Bahamian Ambassador to the United States Sidney Collie said yesterday that authorities in the Bahamas are monitoring and waiting for a policy change for the United States to require proof of vaccination for international travelers.
An exclusive Reuters article revealed on Wednesday that the Biden administration was working on a plan that would require all visitors to be fully vaccinated against the virus in order to possibly lift travel restrictions that prevent much of the world from entering the country .
Talk to Eyewitness News In this regard, Collie confirmed that officials are waiting for the completion of the policy to see the way forward.
“They are going to change their travel advice for all international passengers entering the United States to at least have the first injection of the vaccine,” he said.
“They have yet to publicly announce which vaccines will be acceptable in this new notice.
“As you know, you will have travelers from all over the world from China, Russia and around the world who could be vaccinated with other vaccines.
“… All the policy has said so far, to my knowledge, is that foreign travelers will need to be vaccinated with at least the first dose.”
Collie noted that U.S. officials are also reviewing the testing requirements and how they will fit them into the vaccination requirements in the new policy.
“The State Department and the White House have yet to finalize the policy. They are still working on it, ”he said.
The move comes as the world continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19.
There are fears that the delta variant may become the dominant strain across the world due to its rapid spread.
Although health officials have not confirmed the presence of the delta variant in the country, they have urged Bahamians to err on the side of caution and follow all public health protocols, even if they are vaccinated.
The Bahamas is currently on a Level 3 Travel Health Advisory due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country.
It is currently on a sharp increase, recording 228 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday – the highest number of cases recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
The cases included 164 in New Providence, 20 in Eleuthera, 15 in Abaco, 12 in Exuma, 11 in Grand Bahama and three each in Andros and Bimini & Cat Cay.