At long last, the US travel ban on foreign nationals will be lifted from early November – ending 18 months of transatlantic travel uncertainty, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients announced Monday.
Passengers with at least two shots of the vaccine, or one shot in the case of Johnson & Johnson, will need to have a Covid test within three days of departure and will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
Zients said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will determine which vaccines qualify for travel.
The new rules affect 33 countries whose nationals are currently banned from traveling to the states.
The news comes as the Biden administration looks to repair is relationships across Europe. It came out of the blue after the US-UK-Australia submarine trade deal that enraged France last week and prompted it to recall its ambassador to the US.
Asked if the move was politically motivated due to current tensions with France, Zients said it was ‘based on public health.’ He added it was also based on ‘individuals rather than on a country-based approach.’
The news coincides with the UN General Assembly in– where both President Biden and British PM will speak. Johnson was expected to press Biden to lift the restrictions on Tuesday, and praised the lift of restrictions in a tweet Tuesday.
‘I am delighted that from November, @POTUS is reinstating transatlantic travel so fully vaccinated UK nationals can visit the USA. It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.’
The US travel ban, which has been slammed as ‘absurd’ by critics, also deprived the beleaguered aviation sector of one of its most important and lucrative markets.
The news coincides with the UN General Assembly in NYC – where both President Biden and British PM Boris Johnson will speak. Johnson was expected to press Biden to lift the restrictions on Tuesday, and praised the lift of restrictions in a tweet Tuesday. ‘I am delighted that from November, @POTUS is reinstating transatlantic travel so fully vaccinated UK nationals can visit the USA. It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.’
The White House has announced fully-vaccinated UK travellers will be able to visit the US from November. Boris Johnson has been pushing Joe Biden to make the move
The US travel ban on foreign nationals will be lifted from early November – ending 18 months of transatlantic travel uncertainty, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients announced Monday
The US is set to lift travel restrictions on 33 countries
Speaking at a press conference in New York as he attended the UN General Assembly, Mr Johnson said the easing of US restrictions happened ‘faster than we expected’.
He said families will be able to be reunited ‘by Thanksgiving’ on November 25 which he described as a ‘great thing’.
He said: ‘I thank everybody in the US-UK joint working group who have been hard at it.
‘And I thank the president for the progress that we’ve been able to make.
‘Yes we have done it faster than we expected but that’s thanks to the hard work of our teams.’
The move will mark the end of intense negotiation betweenand Washington after the UK and EU lifted their bans on American visitors – but this was not reciprocated by .
Under current travel policy, only American citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and those with national interest exemptions are allowed to travel to the US, though other nations have higher vaccination rates and lower Covid-19 case counts.
But around 82 percent of Britons age 16 and older have been fully vaccinated, while only 66 percent of Americans 18 and older have been double-jabbed.
Sixty-four percent of Americans of all ages have received at least one vaccine, and around 54 percent are fully inoculated.
The White House’s new travel policies will include stricter testing requirements for unvaccinated Americans wishing to return to the US.
Meanwhile, US land borders between Canada and Mexico will remain closed for at least another month, through Oct. 21.
Britain’s ambassador to the US also expressed delight at the news.
‘Today’s travel announcement is great news for families and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. We are grateful the US has recognized the progress the UK has made against COVID-19, including high vaccination rates and declining cases. This decision means that more Brits can reunite with loved ones in the United States, more British holidaymakers can spend their hard-earned pounds in the American tourism sector, and more business activity can boost both of our economies,’ Karen Pierce said in a statement.
Even as international travel restrictions remained, Americans still took their holidays. TSA conducted around 7 million security screenings over Labor Day weekend in the US earlier this month, up from around 3.2 million over last September’s holiday weekend.
Asked about the possibility of a vaccine mandate for domestic travel, Zients said the White House is ‘not taking any measures off the table.’
The CDC will also issue a contact tracing order requiring airlines to obtain an email address and phone number from US-bound travelers to alert them about exposure to Covid-19 or any other pathogens.
Zients said the tracing system would be used more broadly going forward to protect ‘against any future public health threats.’
Covid-19 travel restrictions were first implemented in January 2020, when former President Trump suspended travel from China. Two months later, he banned travel from the EU and UK.
According to the Financial Times, Biden is due to unveil a new policy imminently that would apply to EU and British travellers from November
Biden for months has maintained strict closures for foreign travelers, drawing frustration from European governments as they brought down case counts and reached high levels of vaccination. The president promised in June during a trip to Europe to re-examine travel restrictions, but little has changed until Monday in the months that have passed.
The European Union began allowing US travelers in late July, only to reverse course and take the US off the safe travel list the following month. The move was said to be partly fueled by anger at the lack of reciprocation from Washington.
Nearly 64% of Americans are now vaccinated against COVID-19
#travel #ban #lifted #November