The United States won’t lift travel bans with either Europe or the United Kingdom until “further discussions” have been had despite the success of their vaccination rollouts, White House sources have told Reuters. There is currently no indication of when the travel restrictions might now be eased.
President Joe Biden announced at the G7 meeting in England last month that the U.S would set up task forces with officials from Europe and the UK on how to safely lift the controversial travel bans but no agreement has yet been reached.
“While these groups have met a number of times, there are further discussions to be had before we can announce any next steps on travel reopening with any country,” one administration source was quoted as telling Reuters.
“We have made tremendous progress domestically in our vaccination efforts, as have many of these other countries, but we want to ensure that we move deliberately and are in a position to sustainably reopen international travel when it is safe to do so,” the source continued.
On Tuesday, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) once again criticized the travel ban saying that the “evidence supported opening it up”. Willie Walsh said that now that more evidence on the Delta variant was available, travel restrictions should be lifted.
“It is disappointing that more governments are not moving more rapidly to use data to drive border opening strategies that would help revive tourism jobs and reunite families,” Walsh commented.
Former President Trump attempted to lift the travel bans just before leaving office but the Biden administration immediately reimposed the restrictions. At the time, Biden justified the decision by saying it wasn’t currently the time for people to be travelling.
Since then, however, Europe has opened to fully vaccinated travellers and the UK is also set to reopen without quarantine to travellers from the United States.
Last month, sources warned that travel restrictions might not be eased until much later in the summer. The travel bans imposed on Brazil, South Africa and India are to remain in place for the foreseeable future. There is also no discussions about lifting the travel bans on China and Iran.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.