Fully vaccinated visitors from the UK and other European countries will be able to travel to America without having to quarantine.
Inews reports that British holidaymakers can travel to the US from November after Joe Biden announced he would revoke a ban on visitors from the UK and Europe after more than 18 months.
From early November, it will be possible for non-US citizens to travel from Britain to America without having to stop off in a third country and without quarantining, as long as they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The move blindsided the UK Government, with Boris Johnson – who is currently visiting New York and Washington – originally warning that he did not expect progress on lifting the travel ban during his trip to the US. He had promised to press Mr Biden on the policy, saying there was an “overwhelming” case against it, but expressed pessimism about his chances of success.
The White House has yet to announce the details of the policy, including whether all children will be exempt from the vaccination requirement and whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab – which is not yet approved in the US – will be accepted. Unvaccinated Britons will still be banned from entering America.
The ban was imposed by Donald Trump in March last year and applied to anyone coming to the US from the UK, EU or China unless they were a citizen or permanent resident of the US. The list of countries affected has not changed in response to changing infection and vaccination rates over the past 18 months.
The exact date that the change will take effect has not been confirmed. Jeff Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 co-ordinator, said: “Foreign nationals flying to the US will be required to be fully vaccinated.”
A spokesman for the UK Government said they were “confident” that the AstraZeneca jab will be recognised by the US for travel purposes, as well as those who have enrolled in a vaccine trial rather than getting a jab through the NHS.
In July, Britain sought to increase pressure on Washington by announcing that it would recognise vaccinations administered abroad, allowing Americans to dodge quarantine restrictions when travelling to Britain.
While travelling to New York, Mr Johnson said he would raise the issue with the President but added: “I don’t think we’re necessarily going to crack it this week. I’ve got to warn you I don’t think this is going to be necessarily fixed this week.”
After the US announcement, he said: “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 share prices of major airlines surged after the ban was revoked and their bosses hailed the change of policy. Tim Alderslade, chief
executive of Airlines UK, said: “This is a major breakthrough which coupled with the removal of travel restrictions announced last week represents a substantial reopening of UK aviation.
“Obviously, there is more to be done – including the relaxation in due course of restrictions for unvaccinated passengers – but for now there is light at the end of the tunnel following 18 months of unprecedented uncertainty.”
(Story source: Inews)