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U.S. Ends Travel Ban On UK And EU Citizens

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The United States has decided to lift travel restrictions for British and EU travelers in November after an 18-month travel ban because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The move comes as British Minister Boris Johnson was set to head to Washington D.C. tomorrow and make a passionate plea for Joe Biden to allow non-essential travel from the United Kingdom to the U.S for fully vaccinated British travelers.

uk us flags

The British government and the E.U have lobbied since April for Joe Biden to overturn the travel ban. Unfortunately, despite the U.K and Europe reopening to American visitors this summer — the United States didn’t reciprocate.

Under the current rules, only U.S citizens, green card holders, immediate families of U.S citizens, and those with government exemptions could enter the United States if they’ve been in the UK or the EU in the previous 14 days. 

Washington D.C

The New Restrictions 

The White House Coronavirus Coordinator, Jeff Zients, suggested that international arrivals would need full evidence of vaccination and proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. There will be no quarantine on arrival if travelers can meet these requirements.

However, the U.S will make some exemptions to the vaccination restrictions, such as children under the age of 12 without full vaccination. The new rules don’t apply to travelers crossing the land borders between Mexico and Canada. 

NYC Skyline

Jeff Zients told reporters, “This new international travel system follows the science to keep Americans and international air travel safe.”

“By requiring foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated in order to fly to the United States and in implementing additional strict safety protocols, we will protect Americans here at home and enhance the safety of international travel.”

He further stated that the new policy will take effect in early November. The CDC will also issue a contact tracing order that will ensure all airlines collect an email address, a phone number, and other information from travelers entering the U.S.

Jeff Zients stated, “This will enable the CDC and state and local public health officials to follow up with inbound travelers and those around them if someone has potentially been exposed to Covid-19.”

The new restrictions will apply to the U.K, 26 Schengen nations, Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, India, and South Africa. 

The Reaction From The U.K 

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, was delighted at the news. He tweeted, “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

The British Ambassador to Washington Dame Karen Pierce said, “Today’s travel announcement is great news for families and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.

“We are grateful the US has recognized the progress the UK has made against Covid-19, including high vaccination rates and declining cases.”

The news is significant for the U.S travel industry. According to reports, banning travel from the U.K and the E.U cost the U.S economy an estimated $198 million every day.

The border closure in 2020 resulted in a loss of 5.5 million jobs in the U.S and a total loss of $139 billion. As a result, the U.S was the hardest hit travel industry in the world. 

Although much of the Western world had opened up for non-essential travel, the U.S was lagging.

Today’s decision changes that. 


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Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

One question does this apply to all countries or just europe and UK? Im in Colombia now can I travel to the US without being vaccinated? Thanks


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Would be nice if there were some actual concrete info(or you know actual legislation) rather than just one guy's word on this since it will greatly impact the flights and reservations I have booked for December if there is a de facto ban on unvaccinated arrivals.


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Not going to happen. This is set for November, they'll "discover" a new scariant or other BS to rationalize shutting the plan down...


Monday 20th of September 2021

So glad the anti-vaxxers have to get tested within a day now of departure and upon return Hopefully this only allows the sensible, cultured Americans to freely enjoy travel as responsible citizens. So excited to have our fellow educated Europeans back in the US too!


Friday 24th of September 2021

@Dee, Vaccinated people can transmit the virus as well. I would actually have everyone get tested regardless of their vaccination status.


Tuesday 21st of September 2021

@Dee, I am so with you here. Couldn’t agree more. This is such a great filter.


Monday 20th of September 2021

It's about fkn time. Let's hope they don't find another stupid variant by then against presumably every vaccine is "less effective" (cause sure...)