Travel Between U.S. and U.K. Could Be on the Horizon

United States and United Kingdom flag
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Travel between the United States and United Kingdom appears to be on the horizon. Ahead of the G7 Summit—taking place June 11-13 in Cornwall, England—President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are expected to work on opening up travel between the countries, lifting restrictions that were put in place last year to slow the spread of COVID-19, CNN reports.

Recently, the Biden Administration formed “expert working groups,” as reported by our sister publication, Travel Agent, in order to determine how to best and safely restart travel with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom. "The point of these working groups is to share data and set out both milestones and criteria to enable a reopening of travel between our two countries as swiftly as possible, consistent with public health guidance," National security adviser Jake Sullivan, according to CNN.

At the same time, a group of airline CEOs called on the U.S. and U.K. governments to reopen transatlantic travel to ignite an economic recovery, Travel Agent reports.

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Biden and Johnson are set to meet Thursday.

U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow on the news said, “Opening a U.S.-U.K. travel corridor is a smart, science-based step to take for both countries’ economic recoveries, and now is the critical time to take it.

“The U.S. and the U.K. both have among the world’s leading records on vaccinations and declining infections, the U.K. is our top overseas travel market, and the two governments enjoy a close relationship. With abundant evidence that travel is safe with layered health measures in place—and a clear economic need to reopen international travel—moving to reduce travel restrictions between the two countries is the perfect place to start.

“The travel industry enthusiastically applauds the Biden administration and U.K. government for being responsive to the calls to advance a bilateral travel corridor and hopes to see it implemented by early July. The unemployment rate in the U.S. travel industry is currently more than double the national average and seizing opportunities to safely reopen all segments of travel will potentially restore millions of jobs and hundreds of billions in economic activity.”

In a separate statement, Virginia Messina, SVP and acting CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said, " Whilst we welcome the news of a task force aimed at safely reopening travel between the U.K. and the U.S., unless we have a clear timeline and unlock transatlantic travel by July 4 at the latest, we will continue to see jobs lost and businesses go under.

“Nearly half of all adults in both countries are fully jabbed and could travel seamlessly straight away, enabling airlines and the wider travel sector to recover quickly. Those not vaccinated should be allowed to travel with negative test proof. 
“In 2019, before the pandemic devastated the sector, the U.S. was the biggest source market for the U.K. in terms of visitor numbers; the U.K. was third biggest source market for the U.S. This shows just how vital a corridor would be in boosting both economies."

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