The news was welcomed by officials in Downing Street, and, of course, the travel trade. Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Shai Weiss said the move was ‘a major milestone’ in the reopening of travel at scale, adding: “As the UK forges its recovery from the pandemic, the reopening of the transatlantic corridor and the lifting of Presidential Order 212F acknowledges the great progress both nations have made in rolling out successful vaccine programmes.”
The World Travel and Tourism Council said the readmission of UK visitors to the US was a vital move.
Julia Simpson, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “The UK alone represents eight per cent of all inbound travel to the US, accounting for US$40 million per day to the nation’s economy. WTTC has long-been calling for the US to reopen and our research shows that by opening its borders to key markets such as the UK, it will pump $198 million back into the US economy every single day.”
Working party finds a way to end travel stalemate
There has been a joint working party seeking a sensible and safe way to bring the travel restriction to an end for some time, according to the BBC, but the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York has prompted the announcement.
The White House has also said that it will be lifting restrictions placed on foreign nationals living or working in the UK, and other countries such as China and Brazil, which had previously prevented them from travelling to the US. However, foreigners flying into the US will be required to be fully vaccinated. Travellers will also be required to show a negative Covid test result that had been taken within three days of departure.
The news comes just days after the UK relaxed its own travel restrictions, making life a lot easier for people to plan their business travel and leisure trips without panicking about sudden changes to the government’s ‘traffic light’ system.