Irish-American Congressman Brendan Boyle has joined industry groups in criticising the ongoing travel ban that prohibits all non-essential travel to the United States from most of the world, including Ireland.
Boyle said that the ban “makes no sense,” and that vaccinated travellers and people who test negative for COVID should be permitted to enter the US.
In his tweet, Boyle noted that “many EU countries” have higher vaccination rates than the US. The Republic of Ireland is included in that figure, with 70 percent of the population fully vaccinated. In the US, just 53 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
The blanket ban on EU citizens coming to the US makes no sense, especially given many EU countries have higher Covid vaccination rates and far fewer Covid cases. As long as those wanting to come to the US test negative for Covid & are vaccinated, they should be allowed in.
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) September 7, 2021
Amongst the many responses to Boyle’s tweet were people using the hashtag #LoveIsNotTourism, which is being used to highlight the ongoing separation of couples and families.
The ban on entry for nonresidents arriving into the US was first enacted back in March 2020. It was extended indefinitely by President Biden in January 2021.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that work is being done “to develop a consistent and safe international travel policy” but noted that “no decisions have been made yet, but that is a process that’s ongoing.”
Boyle is the latest to criticise the news as industry groups and travel leaders have already expressed their anger
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WWTC) also blasted the news, calling the restrictions a backwards step for the industry.
IATA Director Willie Walsh also demonstrated his displeasure and emphasised the importance of the vaccine programmes.
“As governments rightly urge their populations to be vaccinated, governments need to be confident in the benefits they bring—including the freedom to travel. Those who are fully vaccinated should be free to move without restriction.”