Monday, September 20, 2021/US-
The US is relaxing its Covid travel restrictions, ending an 18-month ban on UK and EU passengers.
From November, passengers will be allowed to travel to the US if they are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing, the White House said.
Donald Trump introduced the travel ban in March 2020.
There had been much speculation in recent months about when President Joe Biden would change the rules.
White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients announced the “new international air travel system” on Monday, explaining that the country would be opening up to fully vaccinated passengers.
“This is based on individuals rather than a country based approach, so it’s a stronger system,” he said.
He said vaccines were the “best tool we have in our arsenal” to keep people safe.
The new rules don’t affect land travel. The order restricting overland travel to the US from Mexico and Canada is still in place.
Under the current rules, only US citizens, residents and foreigners with special visas are allowed to enter the US from the majority of European countries.
One British official told the BBC that the decision had come completely out of the blue. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been planning to raise it on Tuesday in his meeting in the White House with the president, but with little hope of making progress, the official said.
Airline shares rose following reports of the new travel rules.