U.S. Plans To Ease Travel Restrictions On Foreign Nationals From UK, EU And Asian Countries

By Andreas Wiseman, Ted Johnson

California Covid

UPDATED: The United States plans to ease restrictions on travel by foreign nationals as long as they are fully vaccinated, a policy that had limited visitors from the UK, the European Union and other countries in Asia, South America and Africa.

White House Covid response coordinator Jeffrey Zients announced the new policy to reporters. It will require the foreign nationals to provide proof of vaccination before boarding planes, as well as proof of a negative Covid test within three days of departure. U.S. citizens who are not vaccinated will need to be tested before and after their flights.

The new policy will go into effect in early November.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the pending new rules came after a review from interagency working groups and with other countries. “The older rules were not equitable in our view. They were a bit confusing. This was an effort to pursue that.”

The Centers for Disease Control also will require that airlines gather information from international travelers to enable contract tracing if needed.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greeted the news on Monday, writing on Twitter, “I am delighted that from November, @POTUS is reinstating transatlantic travel so fully vaccinated UK nationals can visit the USA. It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

EU’s ambassador to the United States, Stavros Lambrinidis, wrote on Monday, “Travel ban lifted! Vaccinated, pre-flight tested Europeans will again be able to travel to the US from November, just as vaccinated Americans are today allowed to travel to the EU.”

Under the current policy, only American citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and those with national interest exemptions can travel to the states if they have been in the UK or EU in the previous 14 days. In addition to the UK and European countries, the restrictions applied to China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India.

The UK has been lobbying for months for the U.S. to reopen its borders to Blighty. The eagerly awaited news will be music to the ears of many in industry and tourists alike, as well as to major airlines which have seen a plunge in business. President Donald Trump put the policy in place at the outset of the pandemic in March, 2020, and it continued under Biden’s administration. It became a source of friction, as European countries had eased restrictions but the U.S. did not take reciprocal action.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/09/us-uk-travel-ban-eu-covid-vaccinations-biden-trump-1234840442/