Whilst the pandemic is far from over, you’d be forgiven for believing the US has turned a corner. With mask-wearing no longer mandatory for some, vaccination rates high and more international destinations opening themselves up to American travelers every week, it seems as though things are slowly getting back to normal in the States.
However, whilst Americans are being given the freedom to travel abroad, the same luxury isn’t afforded to most international travelers, such as those from the EU. The US’ strict travel restrictions have prevented mass inbound tourism so far – but there’s a campaign underway to change that. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Covid-19 in the US – Information For Travelers
The US has struggled with Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, though particularly at the turn of the year. In January, the country reported single day case totals that exceeded 300,000 and set the unfortunate record of almost 6,000 deaths. However, the contrast between then and now cannot be more different, with current statistics painting an altogether more positive picture.
The US’ most recent statistics show a 7-day daily case average of just about 15,000 – a significant decrease compared to the figures from just a few months ago – whilst 48% of the country are fully vaccinated, which will help to keep figures on the lower side. The improvement of the situation has led to Americans being allowed to travel to a greater number of destinations, the country’s lack of reciprocity has rustled some feathers – both at home and abroad.
US Faces Pressure To Reopen – What Travelers Should Know
After several of its member states decided to allow both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans to enter on vacation, last month the EU appealed to the US to ease its travel restrictions and allow citizens from the bloc to be able to visit. Yet despite the plea from a diplomat on behalf of the EU, the US refused to budge, and EU travelers to this day are still not able to travel to the States for a vacation.
However, a coalition of interested parties has taken up the baton and carried on where the EU failed, calling on the US to ease its strict restrictions in order to kickstart the country’s ailing travel and tourism industry. The group is led by the U.S. Travel Association and consists of 24 industry organizations that represent airlines, casinos, hotels, airports, airplane manufacturers and other travel-related industries. In a united front, the group has called for the US to ease the Covid-19 related entry restrictions that were imposed last year by July 15th, and called for the US to allow vaccinated travelers from the EU to enter as a first step.
The coalition isn’t the only group attempting to sway the policies of the current administration. A group consisting of 75 members of the U.S. House of Representatives is also fighting for an easing of restrictions, chiefly the restrictions imposed on British and Canadian travelers – two of the countries whose citizens visit the US in the greatest numbers.
In a letter, the lawmakers stated that the US could “lose 1.1 million jobs and an additional $175 billion by the end of this year.” The US administration is currently in talks with the EU, Britain, Canada, and Mexico about how they can safely ease restrictions and allow travel and, whilst the efforts of the groups are unlikely to change things immediately, they could help to hurry the process along and open the US to travelers sooner rather than later.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com