UK government STILL hasn’t had a firm date for US dropping travel ban

UK government STILL hasn’t had a firm date for US dropping travel ban for double-jabbed Brits a fortnight after Joe Biden promised Boris Johnson it would happen in ‘early November’

  • EXCLUSIVE: UK government still waiting for date for end of US travel ban on Brits
  • Joe Biden vowed rules would ease on eve of Boris Johnson White House meet
  • US suggested change would come in ‘early November’ but no exact timetable  

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline

Published: 18:00, 4 October 2021 | Updated: 18:00, 4 October 2021

The UK government still has not been given a firm date for the US dropping its travel ban a fortnight after Joe Biden promised it will happen in ‘early November’.

The president dramatically declared that the tough restrictions would be eased on the eve of meeting the PM in the White House last month.

The block has been in place for the vast majority of Britons, as well as dozens of other countries, since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago.

The UK axed its rules for fully-vaccinated US visitors in July as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

But, to the concern of ministers and anger of the travel industry, the US had not reciprocated.

Joe Biden dramatically declared that the tough restrictions would be dropped on the eve of meeting the PM in the White House last month

UK government STILL hasn't had a firm date for US dropping travel ban

Mr Johnson said that he was ‘delighted’ by the US move last month, which seemingly came out of the blue

The travel ban that has barred the US to most Brits for 18 months

The vast majority of UK citizens have been barred from entering the United States since the height of the first wave of Covid last year.

On March 16, 2020, then president Trump blocked entry to British nationals if they had been in the UK, Ireland, the EU’s Schengen free travel zone, Iran, Brazil, or China within the previous 14 days.

The ban had a chilling effect on transatlantic travel – as it was designed to do – prompting pleas from airlines and other travel firms for the rules to be eased as the threat from Covid recedes.

A high-profile victim of the ban has been the faily of British tennis ace Emma Radacanu.

Her family was unable to travel to New York this month to watch her spectacular victory in the final of the US Open.

It has also deprived the beleaguered aviation sector of one of its most important and lucrative markets. 

Trump attempted to lift the flight ban in January as he left office, but  incoming president Joe Biden reversed the decision and kept them in place to prevent a new wave of Covid overwhelming the US at the same time as he stepped up its vaccination programme.   

Britain dropped restrictions on fully vaccinated US visitors in July as a ‘goodwill gesture’ and he and Biden set up a dedicated working group in June to take the issue forward, following talks at the G7 summit in Cornwall.   

Bookings for flights surged after the news, which seemingly came out of the blue, and Mr Johnson said he was ‘delighted’.  

However, concerns are growing that as yet there is no indication from the Biden administration over a timeframe. 

One senior government source told MailOnline: ‘Your guess is as good as ours.

They haven’t told us anything about the date. 

‘The White House are in charge of the policy, it’s very difficult to work out what is going on.’

The source said they were still hoping the change would be in place by early November, but complained that the lack of communication was a running theme. 

‘We were blindsided by the original announcement from Biden,’ they added. 

Paul Charles of the PC Agency said over recent days that airlines are working on the relaxation happening any time between November 8 and November 13.  

At present, travellers from the UK cannot visit the US without special permission from the United States government.

The ban meant that Tennis star Emma Radacanu’s family were unable to travel to New York last month to watch her spectacular victory in the final of the US Open.

It has also deprived the beleaguered aviation sector of one of its most important and lucrative markets. 

Approximately 3.8million British nationals visited the US every year prior to the pandemic.  

Donald Trump attempted to lift the flight ban in January as he left office, but incoming president Joe Biden reversed the decision and kept them in place to prevent a new wave of Covid overwhelming the US at the same time as he stepped up its vaccination programme. 

Mr Johnson and Mr Biden set up a dedicated working group in June this year to take the issue forward, following talks at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Britain then dropped restrictions on fully vaccinated US visitors in July as a ‘goodwill gesture.’ 

But until the PM’s visit to the US progress appeared to have stalled.

A US Department of Transportation spokesman said: ‘We have no updates or new information at this time.’ 

UK government STILL hasn't had a firm date for US dropping travel ban

The UK-US route is one of the most important and lucrative markets for the aviation sector (pictured, Heathrow airport)


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