During his tenure as president, Donald Trump first limited travel from China before banning countries in the Schengen zone, as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland, in early 2020 as the coronavirus spreads. President Joe Biden’s administration has maintained these strict restrictions.
However, the White House has now said fully vaccinated adults from 33 countries, including the UK, China and EU countries, will be allowed to travel to the US.
“This is the conclusion of a political process on this particular issue,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
The announcement comes at a time when tensions between the United States and Europe are at an all-time high. Many European leaders have expressed frustration at the US exit from Afghanistan. Likewise, France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia last week after Mr Biden announced a nuclear submarine deal with the UK and Australia that replaced the one agreed with Paris. .
“Restoring alliances doesn’t mean you won’t have disagreements,” Ms. Psaki said.
Mr Biden did not respond to questions about travel updates or France when he landed on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday.
The EU initially said it was safe to travel to the US, but then removed it from the “white list” of destinations, along with five other countries.
White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters he expects fully vaccinated Europeans to be able to travel to the United States from “early November”.
Mr Zients added that unvaccinated Americans who wish to return to the United States will need to test negative for the coronavirus the day before their trip to the country and be tested after arrival.
Vaccinated travelers will be required to provide a negative Covid test within three days of their planned trip to the United States.
The announcement comes on the eve of Boris Johnson’s visit to the United States, where he is expected to pressure Mr Biden to present a ‘passionate case’ to allow fully vaccinated Britons to return to the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also expected to unveil a contact tracing order that will require airlines to collect – and retain for 30 days – information on travelers to the United States.
“This will allow CDC and state and local public health officials to track incoming travelers and their entourage if anyone has potentially been exposed to Covid-19 and other pathogens,” Zients said. .
Likewise, Mr Zients said the president doubled the fine for not wearing a mask on planes.