Irish visitors will no longer require Covid vaccination to enter US

The travel requirement will cease at the end of May 11, the White House has announced

US flags in Washington DC. Photo: Getty© Getty Images

Pól Ó Conghaile

The US will end its requirement for most international air travellers to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination “at the end of the day on May 11”, the White House has said.

Last June, the Biden administration dropped its rule for travellers arriving by air to test negative for Covid before boarding.

However, a requirement for most visitors to show proof of full vaccination had remained in place despite heavy lobbying from the aviation and travel industries.

Last week, the White House announced that the requirements will now end for international air travellers, as well as federal employees and contractors, from the end of May 11.

“This is wonderful news,” said Mary McKenna, CEO of Tour America and Cruise Holidays in Ireland.

"Many of our Irish clients have been asking us about this. This is important if you have a member of your family who actually didn’t get vaccinated. Now they can travel with their loved ones.

“For us, this makes the process much easier and in conjunction with a stronger euro at present, it helps us in promoting the fantastic US as a destination.”

Dropping the rule will also mean tennis star Novak Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, can take part in the US Open and other US tournaments.

From May 12, the Homeland Security Department also said it will no longer require non-US travellers entering the country via land ports and ferries to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Reuters reported.

The US introduced its Covid-19 vaccination requirements in 2021.

“We are in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary,” the White House said.

“The vaccination requirement was the last significant barrier to normal travel to the US,” said Tony Lane of Visit USA.

“Visit USA Committee Ireland greatly welcomes this development.”