On Friday, The Telegraph reported that President Trump could lift the travel ban on Europe and the U.K., as early as next week, citing industry and aviation sources.
According to the report, President Trump is expected to lift the travel ban through an executive order, citing senior travel industry sources. This decision of the President comes at the same time when the British government was making a collective effort in persuading the administration to ease travel restrictions that hinder most people in the United Kingdom from going to the United States.
Since November 25, Reuters reported that the White House was talking about rescinding the travel restrictions for most non-US citizens from Brazil, Britain, Ireland, and other 26 European countries. U.K. officials were also said to have held a high level of talks with Cabinet officials and the White House.
The British government is making a concerted effort to persuade the Trump administration to lift or soften travel restrictions that bar most people in the UK from traveling to the United States, sources briefed on the matter say.#US #UK #COVID19https://t.co/7wJCAgXS2I
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) December 18, 2020
A spokeswoman for the U.K. Department for Transportation sent an email to Reuters. In the email, she said, “restarting transatlantic flights is of critical importance to the economic recovery of the U.K. and the U.S., the airline industry and for British nationals, most of whom cannot enter the U.S. “‘British officials continue to pursue the resolution to this issue.'”
Said proposal to lift the travel ban was also backed by the White House coronavirus task force members, public health, and other federal agencies.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also stated that last October, he urged President Trump to ease the travel restrictions from Brazil and Europe to help boost the struggling tourism economy of Florida.
On the other hand, United Kingdown has also been lobbying the current administration to lift the travel restrictions that prevented most Britons from going to the United States. One of the difficulties that the administration had in lifting the travel ban is the high number of COVID cases in Europe.
The travel restrictions in the U.S. that ban most visitors from Europe have been in place since mid-March. This was done to address the coronavirus pandemic and bars the entry of most non-US residents who have been in European countries in the past 14 days.
Meanwhile, nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting. Although Britain already allows American visits, they still require two-week quarantine upon arrival.
Last month, Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air, and others told Reuters that it has been “advocating for the federal government to set a national standard on testing to lift travel restrictions.”
The possibility of using testing to establish a flight bubble between New York and London is also being raised. They are also looking at easing travel restrictions for people who have already been vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released updated travel and testing recommendations for international air travelers. The CDC recommended that travelers get tested with a COVID-19 test 1 to 3 days before their scheduled flight to decrease the virus’s spread during travel.
COVID-19: Number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in UK rises sharply https://t.co/hbB5hNCJRS
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 18, 2020
The U.K. is entering its final week before Christmas. As the country is bracing for a post-celebration COVID fallout, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to rule out a new national lockdown after the holiday. The U.K. government also planned to ease its travel restrictions and socializing five days before and after Christmas.
U.K. has Europe’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll, and with the infections rising, there are concerns that a new surge of coronavirus cases and deaths would come after the holidays.
Meanwhile, despite pleas and fears by public health experts for another surge in coronavirus cases in the United States, there are tens of millions of people who are expected to travel for winter vacations or family gatherings over Christmas.