US travel industry demands Biden open doors to visitors from UK and Europe after UK government lifts restrictions, as Obama diplomat says it’s ‘unfair’ to ban them but allow travelers from countries with higher infection rates stand
- US travel industry asks President Joe Biden to open the country’s doors to international visitors
- Request came after the UK government announced that fully vaccinated Americans could travel freely to the UK without quarantine
- “It is time for US leaders to do the same and establish a timeline to reopen our national borders,” the US Travel Association said in a statement.
- However, the United States maintains its travel ban
- “It’s pretty unfair for vaccinated Americans to waltz into the UK and we won’t show the same courtesy,” a diplomat told DailyMail.com
The US travel industry is asking President Joe Biden to open the country’s doors to international visitors after the UK government announced that 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 could not follow the British model.
“British heads of government have made a wise decision to reopen England to vaccinated travelers from the United States,” Tori Emerson Barnes, the US Travel Association’s executive vice president of Public Affairs and Policy, said in a statement.
It’s time for US 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 UK, EU and Canada. The reality is that there is no difference between a vaccinated American and those who have been vaccinated in the UK, the EU and Canada,” she noted.
On Monday, Britain’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that fully vaccinated travelers from the EU and the US can enter the country without undergoing the 10-day quarantine.
However, the United States maintains the travel ban. The White House did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request to reconsider its position.
And Brett Bruen, a former US diplomat and director of Global Engagement at the Obama White House, told DailyMail.com that the situation was “unfair” and that Europeans pose no greater risks to Americans than those who do not get vaccinated within the US.
“It is quite unfair for vaccinated Americans to enter the UK and we will not show the same courtesy. There is a growing sense in the world of inequality, both in the way we’ve hoarded vaccines and in the way we continue to exclude some visitors. Why is it safer for someone to come from Cancun than from Cambridge?” he said.
“The idea that Europeans pose a greater risk to the United States than those from some other countries with higher infection rates is so 2020. It’s time to rethink this blanket ban and move to a much smarter and more sustainable place.”
The US 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 Americans to international travel after the UK said fully vaccinated Americans will not be quarantined have to go
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has raised the issue with his American counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
And British Ambassador to Washington, Karen Pierce, would also argue for the US opening up to Britons in its meetings with US officials.
A diplomatic source told The Telegraph: ‘Everyone is lobbying the Americans left, right and centre.’ Another said there could be a drive to convince the United States to “open up.”
The White House has repeatedly said that science will guide their decision-making.
But about 49% of Americans are fully vaccinated, compared to more than 46% in the European Union. Both have similar numbers of coronavirus cases per capita.
The White House announced Monday that it would continue to restrict foreign visitors to the United States, pointing to the Delta strain of the coronavirus, a highly contagious strain that has caused the number of COVID cases to rise.
“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 hopes a lifted ban would be a boon to airlines, hotels and related industries during the summer vacation months.
The ban was first introduced in March 2020 by then-President Donald Trump.