Business travel

US to open to foreign visitors vaccinated in November

The United States will lift travel restrictions on vaccinated visitors from Europe and the rest of the world over the next two months, a White House spokesperson said on Monday.

The Biden administration plans to implement “strict protocols” in early November to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which will include a requirement for all adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States to be fully vaccinated, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki in a briefing Monday. This will prove a more “fair” policy than the ban imposed on non-nationals who were in the Schengen area of ​​the European Union and in several countries including the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, Ireland, India and South Africa since the days of the pandemic began and which, to date, the administration had refused to lift.

In a previous briefing Monday, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States along with the results. negative of a Covid-19 test carried out within three days of Departure. Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will also need to take a pre-flight Covid-19 test before returning to the United States, and unvaccinated U.S. citizens will have more stringent restrictions, including mandatory testing after arriving home.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will introduce a contract tracing order through which airlines can collect information from passengers, which can be provided to the CDC upon request, Psaki said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet he was “thrilled” by the news that would open the door for British nationals to visit the United States again, calling it “a fantastic stimulus for business and commerce” .

The leaders of the travel and commerce industry were also excited. US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow in a statement called it a “major turning point in dealing with the virus” that will “accelerate the recovery of millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions “. US Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant said the policy “will help foster a strong and sustainable recovery for the US economy.”

The Global Business Travel Association “wholeheartedly applauds” the move, CEO Suzanne Neufang said in a statement, calling it “a big step forward to revive and accelerate the economic engine of the travel industry.”

On the supplier side, United Airlines, in a statement, said the policy was “welcome news” and was ready to implement the requirements as the finer details were announced. The CEO of the International Air Transport Association, Willie Walsh, called it a “big step forward”.

“This announcement marks a key change in the risk management of Covid-19, from general considerations at the national level to the assessment of individual risk,” according to Walsh. “The next challenge is to find a system to manage the risks for travelers who do not have access to vaccinations.”

TripActions CEO Ariel Cohen said the policy “paves the way for a strong recovery in business travel,” noting that TripActions has already seen bookings increase 57% in the past three weeks.

“With the right health and safety measures in place, as well as strong partnerships between policymakers, suppliers and business travel partners, the new rules should open the floodgates for global economic recovery and bring business essential for airlines, hotels and destinations affected by the pandemic, ”Cohen said in a statement.

Business Travel Association CEO Clive Wratten said while the policy is a “light at the end of a very dark tunnel,” he urged government officials to speed up the timetable and move away from it. stick to politics.

“Waiting until November hurts businesses on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said. “Once the trip between the [U.K. and U.S.] resumes, it must be permanent. “

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