The United States is forming expert working groups that will make plans to resume international travel with several key destinations, including Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.
While some countries have been allowing American travelers throughout the pandemic, the US has not reciprocated the same for many. This post will look at the current situation between these countries and what the US plans to do to resume international travel.
Current Openings Between The US, UK, EU, Canada, and Mexico
The United Kingdom
The two nations banned non-essential travel between the two when the pandemic began, and the travel industry has been calling for a resumption of travel between them for many months.
While U.S. citizens can now enter the UK with a 10-day quarantine and Covid-19 tests under the new traffic light system, UK citizens can not yet enter the U.S. for leisure purposes.
Although there’s no confirmed date yet, earlier this week US president Joe Biden and British prime minister Boris Johnson declared to restart transatlantic travel as soon as possible.
The EU has been planning to reopen for vaccinated American tourists this summer, and many countries have already made the announcement, including France, Italy, and Spain. On Wednesday, the EU voted to approve digital Covid passes that will allow tourists to freely travel within the bloc.
However, the United States is still closed to visitors from the European Schengen area.
The Canada and U.S. land border has been closed for non-essential travel since the pandemic began, causing massive damages to the tourism industry on both sides.
Americans are currently not allowed in Canada for leisure purposes either, even if they fly. While Canadians can enter the U.S. with a negative Covid-19 test, they face a two-week quarantine and multiple tests upon returning home, deterring most tourists from visiting.
The US and Canada have finally begun talks to ease border restrictions this month. Earlier this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled a potential end to the border restrictions between the two countries.
Mexico has some of the most relaxed travel restrictions in the world and has been one of the most popular spots for American travelers to visit during the pandemic.
While the land border between the two countries is still closed, Mexican travelers are not prohibited from entering the US via flying provided they have a negative Covid-19 test.
The US had its travel advisory for Mexico at the highest rating, a level 4, until earlier this week when they dropped it down to a 3 due to falling infection rates.
US Moving Towards Loosening Travel
The US has signaled it is moving toward reopening travel. On Tuesday, The State Department loosened its travel warnings for dozens of nations, including France, Canada, Germany, and Mexico.
The White House has “heard very clearly the desire of our friends in Europe and the U.K. to be able to reopen travel across the Atlantic Ocean, and we want to see that happen,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters.
“But we have to follow the science, and we have to follow the guidance of our public health professionals,” he continued. “We’re actively engaging them to determine the time frame.”
US Forming Expert Working Groups
The US is forming expert working groups to make plans to resume international travel.
A Whitehouse official said on Wednesday that the working groups will include members of the White House COVID Response Team, the National Security Council, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Transportation.
“While we are not reopening travel today, we hope that these expert working groups will help us use our collective expertise to chart a path forward, with a goal of reopening international travel with our key partners when it is determined that it is safe to do so,” the White House official said.
“Any decisions will be fully guided by the objective analysis and recommendations by public health and medical experts.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories