Foreign nationals who have recovered from COVID-19 and received one dose of two-dose vaccines will be denied entry to the United States under the new policy. 

The US declared on Friday that starting November 8, it will open its borders to vaccinated travellers, including "any combination of two doses" from two-shot vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who have only received one dose, regardless of whether they have recovered from COVID-19, will be excluded, according to an agency spokesperson.

This discrepancy might hamper travel plans across Europe, as some nations consider persons who have recovered and had one shot to be fully vaccinated, at least for the time being. 

In its domestic definition of vaccination, the United States has never included recovery from COVID-19. To be considered fully vaccinated, US citizens must have both shots of a two-dose vaccine or Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine, regardless of whether they have contracted the virus.

New US policy can hinder relationships with other nations

The Biden administration's plan to reject international nationals who have recovered but haven't had two jabs, regardless of whether their home country considers them vaccinated, might become a new source of friction in Washington-European relations, particularly with France.

Last month, Australia announced that it would suspend a deal to buy French diesel-powered submarines and instead form a collaboration with the United States and the United Kingdom to buy nuclear-powered submarines.

On September 22, US President Joe Biden met with French President Emmanuel Macron, promising to "start a process of in-depth consultations aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing practical initiatives toward shared objectives."

Also Read: Unvaccinated Malaysians to face a 'difficult life' if not vaccinated against COVID-19

Vaccination policies around the world

The definition of 'fully vaccinated' and vaccine rules vary all around the world. 

In France and Norway, if a person recovers from COVID-19 and administers a single dose of a two-dose vaccine, they are considered fully immunised. 

French President Emmanuel Macron is one of the country's residents who falls within this group.

People in Greece are considered fully vaccinated if they receive their first dose within six months of recovering from COVID-19. In Austria, those who have recovered from Covid and had one dose can wait a year before receiving their second shot and still be deemed vaccinated.

In Italy, people who have recovered from Covid and got one dose of a vaccine within a year of testing positive will be issued a "green certificate," which is required to work and visit most indoor events. The certificate is valid for a period of one year.

Some scenarios that have not yet been approved by domestic regulators are accommodated by the US policy. For example, as of Nov. 8, foreigners who have had two doses of any World Health Organization-authorized vaccine, including those that haven't been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, can fly directly to the US.

This includes AstraZeneca Plc's vaccine, which is extensively used around the world but has yet to be approved in the United States, as well as Chinese vaccines.

The US also intends to allow travellers who have gotten two doses of different vaccines doses, an approach that the FDA is currently considering for Americans but has not yet been approved.

The new US travel policy would replace an existing pandemic travel ban for non-Americans, regardless of vaccination status, from specified regions, including Europe. 

Other restricted areas, such as India and South Africa, require residents to receive both doses of two-dose vaccines in order to be properly vaccinated.

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