Those hoping for a transatlantic family reunion this Christmas – or simply a last-minute trip to New York – may be in luck. The USA is strongly considering lifting the ban on travel from the UK and the EU, according to a White House official.
Discussions between the USA and European countries have been ongoing for several weeks – and there has been speculation for months about flights resuming between London and New York. Now, according to Reuters, the US government is considering lifting the transatlantic travel bans that have been in place since March. Similar restrictions on travel from Brazil may also be removed, sources told the news agency.
President Donald Trump is yet to sign off on the move, the reports say. If and when he does, the travel bans are unlikely to be lifted until all countries concerned have agreed new arrangements to allow mutual safe travel.
Since mid-March, almost all non-US residents have been banned from entering the USA if they have been in Europe in the 14 days prior to their arrival. Only limited numbers of business travellers, investors, academics, students and journalists have been allowed in.
For the moment, it’s unclear when European countries would reciprocate and let US travellers back in. Currently, most EU countries are barring US travellers from entering altogether, while the UK and Ireland will allow them in as long as they quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, each US state currently has its own quarantine rules for arriving travellers, which would be likely to affect any European arrivals too.
Despite all those caveats, today’s developments will be very welcome news indeed for Europeans and Americans who are simply desperate to be reunited with friends and family.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.