US President Joe Biden has revoked his own proclamation from October 25, 2021, which mandated COVID-19 vaccination for international air travel. According to the president, this decision was made in light of the progress made in reducing COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States, as well as new tools to detect and respond to the potential emergence of new virus variants. As of May 12, non-US citizens, US nationals, or lawful permanent residents are no longer required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination before boarding an aircraft to the United States. The World Health Organization has also declared an end to the assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic as a “global health emergency,” but cautioned that the virus still poses a threat.
This decision by President Biden to revoke his own COVID-19 vaccination requirement for international air travel is significant in terms of the ongoing debate around public health measures in the United States. The vaccination mandate was seen as a key tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19, particularly in light of the emergence of new variants of the virus. However, the decision to revoke the mandate indicates that the Biden administration believes that the situation with the pandemic in the US has improved to the extent that such measures are no longer necessary.
It is worth noting that the decision has been met with some criticism, particularly from those who argue that the pandemic is not yet over and that it is premature to relax public health measures. This decision may also have an impact on international travel to the US, as some countries may now be more cautious about lifting their own COVID-19 restrictions given the potential for the virus to spread through air travel. Overall, this is an important development in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, and one that will be closely watched by public health experts and policymakers around the world.
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