US travel industry demands Biden opens doors to visitors from UK and Europe after British government lifted restrictions as Obama diplomat says it’s ‘unfair’ to ban them but allow travelers from countries with higher infection rates
- U.S. travel industry is asking President Joe Biden to open the country’s doors to international visitors
- Request came after British government announced fully-vaccinated Americans could travel freely to the UK without quarantine
- ‘It’s time for U.S. leaders to do the same and set a timeline to reopen our national borders,’ U.S. Travel Association said in statement
- The United States, however, is keeping its travel ban in place
- ‘It’s pretty unfair for vaccinated Americans to waltz into the United Kingdom and we won’t extend the same courtesy,’ a diplomat told DailyMail.com
- White House said on Thursday the travel ban would remain in place
The U.S. travel industry is asking President Joe Biden to open the country’s doors to international visitors after the British government announced fully-vaccinated Americans could travel freely to the UK without quarantine.
In response to the announcement, industry experts and diplomats asked why the United States couldn’t follow the British model.
‘British government leaders have made a wise decision in reopening England to vaccinated travelers from the United States,’ U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said in a statement.
‘It’s time for U.S. leaders to do the same and set a timeline to reopen our national borders— and we encourage them to start with vaccinated travelers from the U.K., E.U. and Canada. The reality is there’s no difference between a vaccinated American and those vaccinated in the U.K., the E.U. and Canada,’ she noted.
On Monday, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that fully vaccinated travelers from the EU and US can enter the country without having to undergo the 10 day quarantine.
The United States, however, is keeping its travel ban in place. The White House did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s query if it was reconsidering its position.
And Brett Bruen, former US Diplomat and Director of Global Engagement at the Obama White House, told DailyMail.com the situation was ‘unfair’ and Europeans pose no greater risks to Americans than those who inside the U.S. who won’t get vaccinated.
‘It’s pretty unfair for vaccinated Americans to waltz into the United Kingdom and we won’t extend the same courtesy. There is a growing sense around the world of inequality, both in how we hoarded vaccines and continue to exclude some visitors. Why is it any safer for someone to visit from Cancun than Cambridge?,’ he said.
‘The notion that Europeans pose any greater risk to the United States than those from any number of other countries with higher infection rates is so 2020. It’s time to rethink this blanket ban and get to a much smarter and sustainable place.’
The White House said on Thursday the existing travel ban will stay in place, citing the spread of the Delta variant.
‘The United States will remain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons,’ said deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. ‘The more transmittable Delta variant is spreading, both here and around the world, driven by the Delta variant cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely to continue – to increase in the weeks ahead. And the CDC just advised Americans against travel to the UK, this past Monday, given their surge in cases.’
The U.S. travel industry is asking President Joe Biden – seen above with Jill Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson at the G7 – to reopen American to international travel after the UK said fully vaccinated Americans don’t have to quarantine
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has raised the issue with his American counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
And the British Ambassador in Washington, Karen Pierce, is also believed to be advocating for the U.S. opening up to Britons in her meetings with American officials.
A diplomatic source told The Telegraph: ‘Everyone is lobbying the Americans left, right and centre.’ Another said there could be a drive to persuade the United States to ‘open up’.
The White House has said repeatedly science will guide their decision making.
But about 49% of Americans are fully inoculated, compared to more than 46% European Union residents. Both have similar per-capita coronavirus case numbers.
The White House had said on Monday it would continue to restrict foreign visitors travel to the United States, pointing to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, a highly contagious variant that has caused COVID cases to spike.
‘The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
The announcement was a blow to the travel industry, which has suffered during the pandemic, and hoped a lifting of the ban would be a boon to airlines, hotels and related industries during the summer vacation months.
The ban was first put in place in March 2020 by then President Donald Trump.