US vaccine & entry requirements
While there is still no word on the opening date and BA has cancelled a number of flights to Las Vegas, Orlando, and Tampa prior to the 15 November, I am still hopeful the US will open at some point in mid to late November. This is reinforced by the fact that the US has just announced that they will reopen the land border with Canada and Mexico from November. There is no firm date but there is expected to be a White House press conference today. I take this as a positive sign that they are saying November as I would expect this to reopen at a similar time to the border with the UK and Europe etc.
Meanwhile, the CDC has confirmed the vaccine requirements for entry to the US.
A spokesperson from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that vaccines approved by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) would be acceptable. Those given in the UK such as Pfizer, Astra Zeneca (including those made in India) and Moderna are all approved by WHO or the FDA.
“Earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems, we informed airlines that the vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S.,” CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey told USA Today.
The full list of accepted vaccines are:
- Johnson & Johnson
It is expected that you will also proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure and that the new system will include enhanced contact tracing.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has reportedly also said that the government will strengthen testing requirements for both foreign nationals’ and returning U.S. citizens’ unvaccinated children. Currently, children aged two and older must show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight to the U.S. Given that most children are not yet vaccinated in the UK, lets hope they take a pragmatic stance.
BA announces Singapore vaccinated travel lane flights
When the new vaccinated travel lanes for Singapore were announced, it was confirmed that you can only travel on approved flights. Now both Singapore Airlines and BA have confirmed which flights they will be operating for the flights.
The good news is that all British Airways flights to Singapore will operate as VLT approved flights from 19 October which keeps things simple. They are currently operating BA11 twice a week in October to Singapore and then on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sundays in November. One thing to note is that BA is not approved to connect passengers onto other airlines to third countries in Singapore.
BA lounges update
With the US opening shortly (we hope) here are the latest BA lounge reopenings in the US.
- San Francisco
- New York JFK
Surprisingly Los Angeles is yet to open their Oneworld lounges, but hopefully, the US reopening will help things return to normal.