On Monday authorities announced that the US will lift its travel ban for vaccinated people from Ireland, the UK and other European countries from early November.
It’s understood that travellers will need to show proof of full vaccination before boarding any flight to the US. Tourists will also need to have a negative PCR test, taken within three days of their flight, as well as the normal entry requirements like the ESTA or visas.
The news was welcomed by the many Irish citizens with family members stateside whom they have not been able to visit since March 2020.
However soon after the announcement was made a potential barrier for many vaccinated people emerged.
As of yet, the US does not recognise the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as the creators of the vaccine never applied for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
Following the announcement, travel expert Eoghan Corry told RSVP Live it’s not clear what the regulations will be for those who are not considered vaccinated.
“It does look like you won’t be treated as a vaccinated visitor which leads to, what are the regulations for the unvaccinated?
“The regulations for the unvaccinated returning Americans are quite clear: you do a PCR test before you travel, and you isolate and do another PCR test after you land.
“It could well be that you’re all welcome as long as you’ve got Pfizer and Moderna, but not AstraZeneca”.
The FDA recognises people who have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen from Johnson & Johnson jab as fully vaccinated, but travellers who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine may be able to enter if the US acknowledges its approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Thousands of Irish people availed of the AZ vaccine along with millions of Britons. Yesterday a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempted to dispel any fears that those who got the AZ vaccine would not be allowed into the states.
The spokesperson said: “I am confident that every vaccine we have used, any vaccine received in the UK and approved by the NHS, obviously signed off by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), WHO (World Health Organisation) will be applicable.”