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UK Government Negotiating With Trump Administration to Lift Travel Ban

UK Government Negotiating With Trump Administration to Lift Travel Ban

Senior British government negotiators are said to be holding talks with the Trump administration in a “concerted effort” to lift a travel ban that bars any non-U.S. residents who have spent the last 14-days in the United Kingdom from entering the United States.

President Trump issued a proclamation in early March that initially barred foreign visitors from 26 European countries and Ireland entering the United States as part of his administration’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The travel ban was extended to the United Kingdom days later as Coronavirus cases in the country spiked.

Photo Credit: Delta Air Lines

On November 25, Reuters quoted senior U.S. sources who claimed the travel ban was about to be eased or completely lifted despite a second epidemic wave sweeping across Europe and the UK.

The sources claimed the plan to rescind the ban had won the backing of the White House coronavirus task force, as well as other federal agencies who have been overseeing the U.S. response to the pandemic.

At the time, it was reported that President Trump had not made a final decision on the matter. Reuters now claims, however, that UK government officials have been holding “high level” talks with the White House on the issue in an attempt to get the travel ban lifted.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK kept its borders open to visitors from all over the world but travellers arriving from countries with a high prevalence of novel Coronavirus cases have been required to self-isolate since June.

Travellers from the United States are considered high risk, although the British government recently reduced the length of mandatory self-isolation to a maximum of 10-days which can be shortened to just five days on receipt of a negative COVID-19 test.

British and U.S. officials have also discussed the possibility of a ‘travel corridor’ between London and New York that would allow travellers to travel freely between the two cities without the need to quarantine. Airlines have backed the idea and the likes of United, American Airlines and British Airways have all tried to prove how pre-departure and post-arrival testing could be used to facilitate the plan.

Talks to establish the travel corridor have been ongoing since the summer with little progress made and no formal announcements made.

Ed Bastian, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, recently said his airline had deliberately shied away from doing a COVID-19 test trial on London bound flights because the getting a travel corridor up and running between the U.S. and UK was beset with so many problems.

Instead, Delta has convinced the governments of Italy and the Netherlands to exempt travellers on certain flights from quarantine requirements on arrival. Much of Europe, however, remains shut off to all but a small number of U.S. citizens due to the bloc’s own Coronavirus travel restrictions.

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