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UFC alerts international fighters about new vaccination requirements to travel into the U.S. starting Nov. 8

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC will not require any of the fighters on the roster to get vaccinated for COVID-19, however international athletes will face a new obstacle starting on Nov. 8.

In a memo sent out this week to fighters, coaches, and managers, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell issued a warning that due to policy changes from the government, all travelers coming into the United States starting on Nov. 8 must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with proof of vaccination.

The White House issued the orders this past Friday, which require all travelers to provide proof of full vaccination in order to enter the U.S., which could obviously impact numerous international fighters, their teammates, and coaches coming into the country for events after Nov. 8.

“Recently the U.S. government announced that beginning on November 8, foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of their vaccination status to fly to the United States,” UFC officials said in the memo, which was first reported by MMA Junkie. “Fully vaccinated travelers will also be required to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding their flight.

“This policy also applies to foreign nationals crossing the land borders with Canada and Mexico or arriving in the United States by passenger ferry. To be clear, this is NOT a UFC policy. UFC is not requiring you to get vaccinated. We are simply communicating the new guidelines recently announced by the U.S. government.”

As part of the memo, UFC officials also informed athletes that there won’t be any exceptions to the policy, which means anyone traveling into the U.S. after Nov. 8 will be required to be fully vaccinated.

“You should consider your options, such as traveling to the United States before this new U.S. government policy takes effect, or if you choose, make arrangements to take the appropriate vaccination,” UFC officials said.

“Starting on November 8, in order to be admitted into the United States, all foreign nationals arriving from international destinations must be vaccinated by one of the WHO approved vaccines. Those who are not vaccinated will not be permitted to enter the U.S.”

UFC officials also warned athletes that if they plan to travel into the U.S. before the Nov. 8 policy goes into effect, they will need a waiver if traveling from one of the restricted countries.

Outside of the upcoming UFC 267 card scheduled in Abu Dhabi, the promotion doesn’t have any other international events planned, which means all of the shows scheduled into January will all take place in the United States.

It remains to be seen if the new travel policy will adversely affect many of the athletes on the UFC’s roster or if the promotion might start booking more cards outside of the U.S. again in order to accommodate international fighters who aren’t vaccinated.