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Amid the surge in Covid-19 Delta variant cases in the US, the Biden administration is considering requiring vaccinations against Covid-19 and contact tracing of international visitors.

Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator yesterday said that the current Covid-19 travel restrictions will remain in place until the US government rolls out a "new system" for regulating international travel.

At present, the US bars most non-Americans who have travelled to India, China the United Kingdom, most of Europe, Brazil, and other countries in the previous 14 days.

Last month, the US eased travel restrictions for India, issuing a Level 2 rating (Moderate) for the country. Prior to this, India was kept under the Level-4 category, means 'Do Not Travel advisory'.

However, airlines and other travel companies have pushed the administration to ease the restrictions, particularly on UK visitors.

Zients said that the system will include a prominent role for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We will also be putting in place contact tracing to enable CDC to follow up with inbound international travelers and those around them if someone has potentially been exposed to COVID-19," Zients said, “and we are exploring vaccination requirements for foreign nationals traveling to the US".

Separately, Anthony Fauci, an American physician-scientist and immunologist said he would support a proposal to require vaccination for people on domestic flights.

The airline industry is adamantly opposed to such a requirement, saying it would be difficult to enforce and could lead to long lines at airports. Industry officials say it would be unfair to single out air travellers with a mandate that would not affect people who travel by train, bus, or car.

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