After 18 months, in early November 2021, the US will lift restrictions on travel from the UK and the EU for double-bitten tourists. But what do travel industry experts think of this decision?
In addition to the UK and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, the easing of restrictions will also apply to Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India.
Travelers entering the United States will need full proof of vaccination before boarding their flight and a negative Covid-19 test performed within 72 hours of departure. They will not be required to self-quarantine upon arrival.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, tweeted: “It’s a tremendous boost for business and commerce, and it’s great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can come together again.”
What does the travel industry think?
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council
“The prospect of the United States lifting travel restrictions to reinstate transatlantic travel between the United Kingdom and the United States is good news – not only for struggling airlines, but for the broader travel industry.” and tourism, which has been decimated by Covid-19.
“This will finally allow families to reunite, business travelers to resume face-to-face meetings and travel and tourism to return for Britons wishing to travel to America.
“The UK alone accounts for 8% of all inbound travel to the US, which adds US $ 40 million per day to the country’s economy.
“The WTTC has long called for the United States to reopen, and our research shows that by opening its borders to key markets such as the United Kingdom, it will put $ 198 million back into the US economy every day.
“The WTTC strongly advocates that fully vaccinated travelers can travel freely and safely, and that unvaccinated travelers can do so with testing, alongside improved health and safety protocols. “
Steve Norris, Managing Director of EMEA for Flight Center
“This is the day we were waiting for; President Biden’s decision to allow British and European travelers to enter the country without quarantine marks a watershed moment for the travel industry. “
“Before Covid, 15% of Flight Centre’s annual bookings were destined for the United States, representing hundreds of thousands of customers. To the British, the United States is more than our greatest economic ally; We have been looking forward to seeing family again, reuniting with loved ones and exploring the country again for 18 months.
“We applaud President Biden for his decision to revoke these restrictions following the incredible vaccine rollout on both sides of the Atlantic and have our officers prepared and ready to help the British cross the pond for the first time. in 18 months. “
Pablo Caspers, Travel Director at eDreams ODIGEO
“Since the UK government announced an easing of travel restrictions, we have seen renewed interest from UK travelers. Over the weekend, searches were up 49% from the previous weekend, highlighting how simplifying travel rules will give people more confidence in planning trips abroad.
“Demand for a mid-October vacation has also increased over the weekend – with destinations such as Tenerife, Dubai and Alicante in the top five, with many travelers looking for a sunny vacation ahead of time. winter.
“We expect the news this afternoon that there will be an impending announcement of the reopening of US borders to lead to another spike in interest from UK travelers, especially for fall destinations. / winter classics such as New York and Chicago. “
Andrew Crawley, Commercial Director of American Express Global Business Travel
“After more than 550 days of border closures, we are delighted that the US is finally reopening to fully vaccinated travelers from the UK and the EU. There is a huge pent-up demand for transatlantic travel among our customers and we expect a steady increase in bookings. This is a positive step forward for the global economic recovery and we await further details from the White House. “
Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic
“The US government’s announcement that fully vaccinated UK visitors will be able to enter the US from November is an important step towards reopening large-scale travel, allowing consumers and businesses to book trips to the US. United with confidence.
“As the UK recovers from the pandemic, the reopening of the Transatlantic Corridor and the lifting of Presidential Order 212F recognize the great strides both countries have made in rolling out successful vaccination programs.
“The UK will now be able to strengthen its ties with our most important economic partner, the United States, by boosting trade and tourism as well as bringing together friends, family and work colleagues. We thank the UK government, the Biden administration and our industry partners for their collaboration.
“The United States has been our heart for over 37 years since our first flight to New York in 1984. We just aren’t Virgin without the Atlantic. After 18 months of uncertainty, we look forward to welcoming our customers back on board, taking them safely to their preferred US destination. “