The US government has confirmed that it will lift restrictions on international travelers from November 8, allowing people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to cross the border.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed the change on Twitter, calling the new US travel policy “guided by public health, rigorous and consistent.” The change applies to land and air travel.
The United States announced in September that it was considering a November date to begin allowing foreign citizens to enter the country after more than 18 months of border closures to non-U.S. Citizens due to the Covid-19 pandemic. .
Travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States as well as negative results from a Covid-19 test performed within three days of departure.
The CEO of the Global Business Travel Association, Suzanne Neufang, welcomed the decision in a statement. “I am delighted that the United States is reopening its borders to the many countries that have been closed for so many months – and in our most recent GBTA pandemic recovery survey, nearly 75% of respondents strongly agree with this action. special, ”she said. “International travel is essential for promoting global trade and increasing global understanding. “
US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow noted in a statement that formally setting a reopening date “is of critical planning importance – for airlines, for companies funded by travel and for millions of travelers around the world who will now advance their plans to visit the United States Once again. The reopening to international visitors will boost the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions.
“The first two weeks of October 2021 saw a 76% increase in the volume of airline bookings between the UK and the US, compared to the same period in September 2021,” said John Keichline, CEO of Reed & Mackay North America, in a statement. “Following today’s announcement that the US borders will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers on November 8, we expect to see this increase again. “
Reacting to the announcement, Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, which operates a number of flights between the UK and the US, said in a statement that “we have gradually increased our flights to destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and we look forward to transporting our clients safely to their favorite US cities on vacation or to reconnect with friends, family and colleagues. “
Sean Doyle, CEO and Chairman of British Airways, commented in a statement: “Almost 600 days since the introduction of the United States travel ban, this is a pivotal moment for all of the travel industry and finally provides the certainty we desperately need. “
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, said in a statement: “The restart of this vital corridor will pay huge dividends to economies and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic and is another important step on the road to takeover for the company. travel sector. We are now urging the two governments to work together to simplify the testing procedures currently required for travel between the UK and the US to ensure that it takes place as little as possible. “
Scott Davies, CEO of the Institute of Travel Management, said: “The reopening of the UK and Ireland’s most important trade and travel corridors is long overdue great news. We will now see the pent-up demand for business travel between our countries emerge.
“The consistency and simplicity of the test protocols will now be essential. “
According to CNN, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has informed airlines that all vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration and anyone with a World Health Organization emergency use list will be accepted for land and air crossings. It is not yet clear whether there will be any exceptions for travelers under the age of 18, who may not be eligible for vaccinations in their home country.