Finally a decision that gives England a chance to catch up with its neighbors, but all eyes will be on the U.S. now to see if it's ready to meet Europe halfway. The corridor is well overdue.
England will open its doors to fully vaccinated tourists from the U.S. and European Union, British Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced Wednesday.
American citizens would need to show a vaccine card displaying their full vaccination record, while EU citizens must show a digital Covid certificate.
The argument appears to have been made that it will be safe to start allow people into the country without the need for quarantine, on the condition they have had two vaccine doses.
“Today’s announcement that quarantine will be removed for vaccinated U.S. and EU visitors to England is a fantastic step forward that will allow the £28 billion inbound tourism sector, which supports over 500,000 jobs across the UK, to finally restart,” said Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound.
Meanwhile, Johnson said during a radio interview on Wednesday that he was discussing a travel corridor with the U.S., according to Reuters. Almost two weeks ago, President Joe Biden said he was reviewing when the country could lift restrictions that ban most-non U.S. citizens from traveling from much of Europe.
However, for now the U.S. has said it will keep its travel bans in place due to concerns over the Delta variant.
“Prohibiting travellers from countries with higher vaccination rates and lower case numbers while welcoming travellers from Covid ‘hotspots’ is not a sensible approach to protecting public health,” said Evan Konwiser, executive vice president, product and strategy, American Express Global Business Travel, which is calling for the ban to be lifted.
“Other countries have proven that you can reopen international travel while safeguarding public health through a data-driven, science-based approach,” he added.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Travel Association described the move by British government leaders to reopen borders as a “wise decision” and called for reciprocal action.
“It’s time for U.S. leaders to do the same and set a timeline to reopen our national borders — and we encourage them to start with vaccinated travelers from the UK, EU and Canada,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy.
“The reality is there’s no difference between a vaccinated American and those vaccinated in the UK, the EU and Canada … closed borders have not eliminated the spread of the delta variant, while continued border closures have further delayed the return of American jobs and a greater economic recovery,” she added.
This story will be updated throughout the day.
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Photo credit: Heathrow will allow allow people into the country without the need for quarantine, on the condition they have had two vaccine doses. 213299