With two weeks to go until international travel between the US and Ireland reopens, the Biden administration has revealed the new rules that will apply for international arrivals.
Under the new rules, proof of vaccination will be required for any foreign nationals to even board a plane to the US.
The White House says there’ll be “very limited exceptions” to that rule, but children and people who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons will not need to be vaccinated.
Everyone will still need to produce a negative COVID test result before travel - three days for vaccinated passengers, and one day for unvaccinated passengers (including US citizens).
The new rules will apply when the US reopens its borders from November 8th, after 18 months of strict controls on international travel.
Eoghan Corry, editor of Air and Travel Magazine, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the details of these new rules.
He said: “We got clarification from the Biden administration as to what is happening on November 8th… when America is opening to international travel again.
“It’s much as expected - you’ll have to have your full course of vaccination, plus a cooling period at that end of that. You need to verify that with the airline - it will probably be an American locator form.
“Only double vaccinated need apply, but there is a little surprise. They are allowing children and teenagers up to the age of 18.”
Everyone will “absolutely” need a PCR test, regardless of their vaccine status.
Vaccines currently in use in the US - including the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines - will be recognised for international travel under the new rules, once it's two weeks after a passenger's last dose.
While the AstraZeneca vaccine hasn’t been approved for use in the US yet, it is being recognised for international travel.
He said: “Some of the other vaccines are not [recognised], but it doesn’t really affect Irish people - Sputnik-V, for example.
“AstraZeneca is in, and that’s a big relief - as one-in-six Irish people got it.”
Eoghan said seat prices are climbing, but sale fares are being put in place to kickstart interest in new routes.
He said Aer Lingus is currently only operating core routes such as Chicago, Boston and New York.
However, other routes have now been given restart dates - so Eoghan said passengers can expect some cheaper seats as more routes restart after the lengthy hiatus for transatlantic travel.