Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen has called on the Biden administration to lift a travel ban on arrivals from Europe’s Schengen zone and the Republic of Ireland, saying the so-called 212(f) travel restrictions should be rescinded within “weeks”.
In an interview with the German news outlet RND on Wednesday, Von Der Leyen expressed frustration with President Biden’s refusal to lift the ban despite the fact that American citizens have been able to travel freely between the United States and Europe since June.
“We insist that there are comparable rules for travelers in both directions,” Von Der Leyen when asked why the travel ban hadn’t been lifted despite the fact that Europe’s vaccination rate has now surpassed the takeup rate in the United States despite a glut of supplies.
“The epidemiological situation in the US and the EU today is very similar. The EU lifted entry restrictions for US citizens back in June,” the former German defence minister continued.
“We have to solve the problem as soon as possible and we are in contact with our American friends. That shouldn’t drag on for weeks.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the issue directly with President Biden during a visit to the White House last month pressing him to lift the ban. Biden promised to provide an answer within days but the administration eventually confirmed that it had no intention of lifting the restrictions “at this time” citing Delta variant concerns.
Delta is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Europe and is causing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” in the United States. There is also concern about the rate of ‘breakthrough’ infections amongst fully vaccinated Americans by Delta.
“Given where we are today with the Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” the White House confirmed last week. Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or resident who has been in Europe for the previous 14-days continues to be barred from entering the United States.
Critics have ridiculed the Trump-era travel restrictions because they don’t prevent Americans traveling to and from the United States and potentially bringing back new COVID-19 variants. Nor does the travel ban stop travelers from countries with much higher infection rates and lower vaccine takeup entering the U.S.
Last month, the UK lifted its own quarantine restrictions on fully vaccinated Americans, while Canada will unilaterally lift travel restrictions for American tourists next week.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.