US travel ban may be lifted for double-jabbed tourists, Biden revealsAugust 5, 2021
Glimmer of hope for holidays in America as the Biden administration says it will eventually welcome fully-vaccinated overseas visitors
- Relaxation of travel rules is understood to rest on visitors’ double-jabbed status
- President Joe Biden preparing plans for a ‘new system’ for reopening the border
- Phased approach set to allow Covid-jabbed tourists back into the United States
- UK visitors have been subject to an unchanged U.S travel ban since March 2020
Brits desperate for a summer break in the United States have been handed fresh hope today after it was revealed President Joe Biden’s administration plans to re-open the borders to double-jabbed tourists.
Joe Biden’s move would form part of the eventual relaxation of travel restrictions that bar much of the world from entering the United States.
The White House is not ready to immediately lift travel restrictions because of the rising COVID-19 case load, a senior official explained.
The Biden administration has interagency working groups striving to prepare a ‘new system for when we can reopen travel,’ the official added.
The source explained the plan includes ‘a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States [from all countries] need to be fully vaccinated.’
President Joe Biden’s move would form part of the eventual relaxation of travel restrictions that bar much of the world from entering the United States
The Biden administration is developing a scheme to require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The news that the Biden administration is developing plans to require nearly all foreign visitors comes amid lingering global concerns about the more contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Currently, non U.S-citizens aren’t allowed into the country from China, Iran, most of Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South African and India.
Some of the border bans – such as the ones imposed on the EU, UK and China – have not been updated since they were put in place back in March 2020 when the pandemic first took hold.
Biden has been facing mounting pressure to lift the ban – including from travel industry groups and lawmakers in his own party.
On Monday the UK announced that fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and the European Union would be allowed back into the country without quarantining for 10 days.
The White House has been asked frequently when travel restrictions might be lifted.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why unvaccinated individuals from other parts of the world were allowed to travel into the U.S., but vaccinated individuals from Europe and other banned countries weren’t let in.
‘I would certainly point you to our health and medical teams who make these decisions and evaluate what we need to do, from a public health perspective, to keep the American people safe at a time where the Delta variant is rising, and one where we are very cognizant about keeping the American people safe,’ Psaki replied.
The Biden administration is developing a scheme to require nearly all foreign visitors to the United States to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 [Stock picture]
During her visit to the White House last month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel articulated one sticking point: that countries don’t want to have to close down travel again once it’s initially opened.
‘And obviously before such a decision, one has to reflect, and it has to be a sustainable decision,’ Merkel said then. ‘It is certainly not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days, so I have every confidence in the American COVID team.’
The EU reopened its borders to American tourists in June.
The news comes amid confirmation that summer holidays were saved after double-jabbed tourists returning from France are set to be spared quarantine.
Seven European countries; including Germany and Norway were added to the green list of travel destinations.
Spain has also been spared being given red status – potentially forcing thousands into £2,285-a-stay quarantine hotels – but the Government is urging travellers to take a PCR test before they fly home from the Iberian country.
Tens of thousands of Britons are now expected to head to France for August – although tourism chiefs have warned millions more Frenchmen are staying in the country this summer so there is a lack of accommodation.
There is a particular shortage of sites and hotel rooms in the south of the country, especially near beach resorts.
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