President Joe Biden is reportedly in the process of instituting a controversial new mandate as part of his administration’s vaccination effort.
According to Reuters, the plan would require foreigners traveling to the U.S. to prove that they have received a COVID-19 vaccine prior to being allowed entry.
“To have a new system ready”
A White House official told the news outlet that interagency groups are currently developing such an order “to have a new system ready for when we can reopen travel.”
Currently, the U.S. is generally denying entry to non-U.S. citizens who have been to the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Iran, Brazil, or much of Europe in the previous two weeks.
According to reports, a White House source indicated that the new plan includes “a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated.”
To that end, the Biden administration is believed to have been holding discussions with airlines in order to determine how such a plan would be implemented.
As it stands, there are various questions yet to be answered — including what would be considered acceptable proof of vaccination.
White House sends mixed messages
The White House is making it clear that it is not ready to fully reopen the country as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across much of the U.S. and around the world, which means that it could still be some time before the next phase of regulations is introduced.
When the time comes to implement any sweeping vaccine mandate, it remains to be seen how foreign travelers will respond.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is attracting even more serious questions about how it is handling the entry of undocumented immigrations via the U.S.-Mexico border.
Recent reports show that unvaccinated and COVID-positive migrants have been released into communities across the U.S. These revelations have sparked widespread criticism — particularly in light of the administration’s strict policy for allowing international visitors to legally enter the country.
For its part, the White House is said to be developing a plan to administer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to individuals crossing the southern border. At the moment, such a program has not been finalized.