Fully vaccinated UK travelers can travel to the US from November – but is it a victory for “Global Britain”?
Joe Biden has ended a controversial US travel ban that has lasted 18 months – a long time critics believed was impacting on controlling the spread of COVID-19.
His administration confirmed on Monday that fully vaccinated travelers from the UK and China, India and several other European countries will be able to travel to the US from November.
It ends an almost complete ban on foreign travelers entering the country, which was introduced by former President Donald Trump at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Only US citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and national interest exemption recipients can enter the US if they have lived in the UK or EU within the past 14 days.
The protracted ban – which was still in force despite COVID variants being widespread through the US, mainly through the unaffiliated – had barred thousands of foreign nationals from visiting family members and traveling to the US for lack of business . Travel.
What is happening?
US will accept fully vaccinated air travellyErrors from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as the UK, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.
The current policy barred non-US citizens from staying in those countries within 14 days.
Jeff Ziants, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator who announced Biden’s U-turn, did not give an exact start date beyond what he called “beginning of November.”
What has the UK government said?
The reopening of the lucrative Atlantic Flight Corridor between the US and the UK has been a central goal of Boris Johnson’s government – both as part of a post-Brexit global UK agenda for a post-Covid reopening and building foreign relations. In context. .
To that end, a US–UK taskforce was launched in June with the goal of opening up travel, fueling speculation that a UK–US “air bridge” could be developed as vaccination rates in both countries accelerated. I have come But the issue appears to have been raised by the White House only last week, saying it was not the right time to lift any sanctions.
And the prime minister himself appears to have escaped the declaration as he traveled to New York for a meeting with UN leaders.
Johnson told reporters on the plane Sunday night: “I don’t think we’re going to crack it this week … it’s possible but I won’t hold your breath.”
But by Monday morning he was “delighted” and had “a resounding boost to trade and business, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond could once again meet”.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, he said: “We’ve done it faster than expected but it’s all thanks to the hard work of our teams.”
Whether the UK can claim the move is debatable after the UK-US “special relations” ban was widely lifted, indicating that it is.
Why is news important to business?
US policies have caused havoc internationally Travel and shook the tourism and airline industry.
The announcement is a big boost for British Airways and UK airlines like Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport.
He has repeatedly blamed travel restrictions for limiting the recovery of passenger numbers during the virus crisis.
Heathrow has dropped from Europe’s busiest airport to 10th place in 2019, trailing rivals in cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.
According to the Office for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, about 3.8 million British citizens came to the US each year before the pandemic.
British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle said: “Today’s news, which will see our two countries reunite after more than 18 months, marks a historic moment and one that will help the global UK emerge from this pandemic. will provide a huge boost to
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss said the easing of restrictions is “a major milestone in the reopening of scale travel, allowing consumers and businesses to book travel to the US with confidence”.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “The connectivity between the US and the UK is part of the basis of the global economy.
“In relaunching these links the prime minister has achieved a major victory for Global Britain.”
What is required to enter the US?
The White House said all foreign visitors must demonstrate proof of vaccination as well as proof of a negative test within the past three days.
The US Food and Drug Administration recognizes people who have received a Pfizer, Moderna, or Janssen from a Johnson & Johnson jab have been fully vaccinated.
Travelers who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine – the most widely distributed in the UK – should also be able to enter as the US acknowledges its acceptance by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The prime minister’s official spokesman said it was “convinced” that any coronavirus vaccine approved by the UK would be accepted by the US for travel purposes: “I have not received indications that it will not be.
“I am confident that every vaccine we use, any vaccine obtained in the UK and approved by the NHS, expressly signed by the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), WHO will apply.”
Airlines will be required to collect contact information from international passengers so that they can be traced if required. No quarantine will be required.