E.U. members express concerns about U.S. travel regulations related to health, HIV/AIDS

October 26, 2015

The U.S. last week announced plans to introduce a Web-based, pretravel authorization system for foreigners wanting to enter the country. U.S. officials said the program would apply to people coming from countries that are part of the U.S. visa-free travel program and would include questions concerning communicable diseases. Questions about communicable diseases already are asked on paper forms that travelers are required to complete and present to U.S. border agents when they enter the country. Online registration would be mandatory for all visa-free travel by Jan. 12, 2009, the AP/Herald Tribune reports. The new regulations are scheduled to take effect in August.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said some E.U. countries are questioning whether such health information is necessary, especially information about sexually transmitted infections. He added that whether an STI is "contagious in the stricter sense is a question that you could write a doctoral thesis about." Slovenia Interior Minister Dragutin Mate said that some E.U. countries have questions about the health-related information required. However, he added that E.U. countries "have to be aware ... we cannot change the law of another country." U.S. officials have said that the new system will not amount to a new visa but simply replace the current forms visitors are required to complete when they enter the country. E.U. ministers have provisionally supported plans to introduce a similar register in Europe for visitors from the U.S. and other countries entering E.U. nations that participate in the E.U.'s passport-free travel zone (AP/International Herald Tribune, 6/5).

This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.