Those hoping for a transatlantic family reunion this Christmas – or simply a last-minute trip to New York – may be in luck. The White House has announced that the USA will finally allow double-jabbed travellers to visit the country from November 8 – just in time for Thanksgiving.
Discussions between the USA and European countries have been ongoing since last year. Now the US government is lifting the transatlantic travel bans from November for all fully-vaccinated travellers, meaning travel from the UK and the EU is now permitted. Testing and contact tracing rules will still be in place.
All WHO-approved jabs will be accepted for air travel, while airlines like Virgin Atlantic have confirmed their flights will resume next month. It comes as the US land borders with Mexico and Canada reopen, too – so that mega-road trip across North America is now very much on the cards.
Since March 2020, almost all non-US residents have been banned from entering the USA if they have been in Europe in the 14 days prior to arrival. Only limited numbers of business travellers, investors, academics, students and journalists have been allowed in.
For the moment, it’s unclear when the EU will reciprocate and officially let US travellers back in. Countries including Austria, Greece and Portugal, however, are already independently letting in Americans with negative tests, while the fully-vaccinated can visit France, Spain, Italy and Germany without having to quarantine. (Sweden and Bulgaria, for what it’s worth, have banned American travellers completely.)
At the moment, each US state currently has its own quarantine rules for arriving travellers, but it’s thought these will change by November 8 too.
Despite 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.