A coalition of 24 US-based travel associations has called for transatlantic travel between the US and UK to be “quickly reopened” following the success of both countries’ Covid-19 vaccination programmes.
The group, which includes the US Travel Association, Airlines for America, Global Business Travel Association, airline association Iata and the US Chamber of Commerce, has produced a “blueprint” detailing how US authorities can safely lift current restrictions on international visitors.
One of the immediate steps that the coalition is calling for from the US government is a reopening of US-UK travel, “given the two countries’ similar vaccination records”.
The group also wants the US to allow “expedited” entry into the US for fully vaccinated travellers from “non-high-risk” countries.
The blueprint calls for the US government to ease entry restrictions by 15 July when the country is “forecast to achieve widespread immunity and sustained declines in infections and hospitalisations”.
US Travel Association president Roger Dow said: “The travel industry agrees that being guided by the science is absolutely the correct approach, and the science has been telling us for some time that it’s possible to begin to safely reopen international travel.
“Our document continues to prioritise safety while providing a roadmap for solving for the billions of dollars in economic damage resulting from the continued restrictions on crossing our borders, in particular from allied countries with similar vaccination rates.”
Other elements within the blueprint include maintaining entry restrictions only for the highest-risk countries and replacing blanket travel restrictions with a “country-by-country and individual traveller risk assessment”.
Airlines for America president Nicholas Calio added: “We have leaned into science throughout this crisis, and research has consistently determined the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is very low.
“The science is clear – it is time, if not past the time, for the US government to take action and reopen travel between the US and low-risk countries.”