The prospect of a reopening of transatlantic travel from Europe has been given hope by remarks made by US president Joe Biden.
He pledged in a meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House that more information on the timing for lifting international travel bans could come “within the next several days.”
Biden’s comment on Thursday was welcomed by the US Travel Association after an almost 18-month ban on non-essetial travel to the US from Europe due to the pandemic.
Executive vice president of public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes said: “We welcome the president’s remark, delivered today with German chancellor Angela Merkel, that more information on the timing for lifting international travel bans could come ‘within the next several days.’
“The science says we can safely reopen international travel now, particularly for countries that have made considerable progress toward vaccinating their citizens. With proper safeguards in place, studies by the US Department of Defense, the Mayo Clinic and Harvard University have all independently concluded the safety of air travel today.
“Each day that outdated restrictions on travel exist wreaks economic damage on our nation, not to mention the personal toll on individuals separated from their families and loved ones.
“Travel bans related to Canada, Europe and the UK alone cost the U.S. economy $1.5 billion every week – enough to support 10,000 American jobs.
“The US travel industry urges the Biden administration, in accordance with the latest science, to swiftly revise its entry policies on international travel.”
The comments came as Virgin Atlantic chief customer and operating officer Corneel Koster told the Telegraph: “Vaccination levels are very high in the UK, and very high in the US – if we follow the data the US should open. So should big parts of Europe, and so should other parts of the world. Step by step aviation can be rebuilt safely.
“We are calling on the Biden administration as well to allow Brits to travel there.”