The US has confirmed that restrictions on travel from the UK and EU will be eased from early November.
Fully-vaccinated travellers will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding as well as proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure.
Prime minister Boris Johnson had been planning to raise the matter in a meeting with president Joe Biden on Tuesday, but that conversation will no longer be required after the easing was confirmed by White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.
Johnson said on Twitter: “I am delighted that from November, @POTUS is reinstating transatlantic travel so fully vaccinated UK nationals can visit the USA. It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
I am delighted that from November, @POTUS is reinstating transatlantic travel so fully vaccinated UK nationals can visit the USA.
It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 20, 2021
Airline shares climbed as reports emerged on Monday afternoon that the announcement was to be made.
Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “The US government’s announcement that fully vaccinated UK visitors will be able to enter the US from November is a major milestone to the reopening of travel at scale, allowing consumers and businesses to book travel to the US with confidence.
“As the UK forges its recovery from the pandemic, the reopening of the transatlantic corridor and the lifting of Presidential Order 212F acknowledges the great progress both nations have made in rolling out successful vaccine programmes.”
Julia Simpson, president and chief executive of the WTTC, said: “The prospect of the US lifting travel restrictions to restore transatlantic travel between the UK and US is welcome news – not just for hard-pressed airlines but for the wider travel & tourism sector, which has been decimated by Covid-19.
“It will finally enable families to reunite, business travellers to resume face-to-face meetings and for travel & tourism to return for Brits looking to travel to America. The UK alone represents 8% of all inbound travel to the US, accounting for US$ 40 million per day to the nation’s economy.
“WTTC has long-been calling for the U.S. to reopen and our research shows that by opening its borders to key markets such as the UK, it will pump US$198 million back into the US economy every single day.
“WTTC strongly advocates for fully-vaccinated travellers to be able to travel freely and safely, and for unvaccinated travellers to be able to do so with testing, alongside enhanced health and safety protocols.”