The United States may soon open its doors to international travelers provided they are fully vaccinated, following the example of many other countries worldwide.
Such a decision would facilitate the travel process for all people who have been banned from entering the US for over 16 months now due to the COVID-19 situation and the rapid spread of its new strains, VisaGuide.World reports.
“A new system ready for when we can reopen travel, which will include a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated,” a White House official told Reuters earlier this week.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant pushed authorities in the United States to keep their travel restrictions in place in order to prevent an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 infections.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, authorities in the United States banned the entry of citizens of the European Union countries, India, South Africa, Iran, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, due to the Coronavirus situation. Such a decision has been widely criticized by many governments, business groups, and lawmakers.
However, in this regard, the US President, Joe Biden, previously said that he is ” in the process of (considering) how soon we can lift the ban … and I will be able to answer that question to you within the next several days.”
Still, the US. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously refused to specify when the US may open to most international citizens during a visit to France.
Although travelers from the United States are eligible to visit most European countries, restriction-free, as the EU Council previously included the US in the list of countries considered safe based on their COVID-19 situation, the US still does not allow European travelers to enter its territory.
Last week, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on the US authorities to lift the travel ban for EU citizens. She emphasized that such a situation must not drag on for weeks.
However, sources confirmed for Bloomberg and Reuters that the block could bring back the entry ban imposed on passengers from the US after the latter has recently experienced a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections, therefore no longer meets the conditions to be part of the safe list.
Restarting travel would also help the travel and tourism sector recover from the damages caused by the COVID-19.
In this regard, the World Travel and Tourism Council highlighted that the drop in the number of tourists risked leading the territory to a decrease in international spending by 79 percent or $425 million a day.
In March 2020, the former US President banned the entry for all people wishing to enter the US from territories considered profoundly affected by the disease as part of efforts to maintain the COVID-19 situation under control. President Biden further extended such a policy.
Authorities in the United States continue to require all air passengers two years of age and over who are permitted to enter the US to present a negative result of the COVID-19 test, taken within three days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.