USA-bound travel from the EU and the UK OK’d.
(IPW COVERAGE 1) The long, year-and-a-half slide backwards should finally be over. The process officially began on Sept. 20 when the Administration of U.S. President Joe Biden announced that it would revoke its travel ban on visitors from 33 countries, which was implemented to check and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 685,000 people in the United States.
Specifically, beginning in November, fully vaccinated travelers from 33 nations (the UK and the European Union, as well as a few other countries) will be able to travel to the United States. Vaccinated travelers will also have to test negative for the virus within three days of departure, and unvaccinated Americans returning to the United States will be required to test negative within one day of leaving and again after arriving. Europe is the source for about 40 percent of all overseas visitors to the U.S.
There were other measures under discussion that could change the criteria travel to the United States and other countries. Most notable among these was the possibility that borders between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, closed for a year-and-a-half to almost all travelers—the latest extension of the closed borders lasts until Oct. 21—might be opened. This possibility is given some credence, as the U.S. Travel Association has been working intensely with the Administration to end this ban.
What one can derive from the opening of borders, both overseas and in North America, is that it is linked primarily to the number of COVID 19 vaccinations in a country.
The Reaction? As One Might Expect—Jubilation: The announcement enjoyed maximum notice among and throughout the inbound tourism industry, released at it was on the first day of business appointments at the U.S. Travel’s IPW, the USA’s largest international travel marketplace, held this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Shortly after the big announcement, Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel issued these brief remarks: “The U.S. Travel Association applauds the Biden administration’s announcement of a roadmap to reopen air travel to vaccinated individuals from around the world, which will help revive the American economy and protect public health.
“This is a major turning point in the management of the virus and will accelerate the recovery of the millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to international travel restrictions.
“The U.S. Travel Association expresses its deep appreciation to the President and his advisors – in particular Commerce Secretary Raimondo, who has been a tireless advocate – for working with the industry to develop a plan to restart international travel and safely reconnect America with the world.”
Acknowledging Dow’s key role in securing an end to the COVID-90 travel ban, Will Seccombe, President, Connect Travel, which was holding its own eTourism Summit at the same Las Vegas Convention Center site, called for “a huge thanks to the U.S. Travel Association for all their hard work in achieving this milestone. This is the best news for the travel industry for a long time.”