The United States has begun the process of easing its travel advisories for a selection of countries, but Ireland isn’t one of them. However, while travel to Ireland and many other countries in the EU remains on the no-go list, the Biden Administration is committed to working toward a full reopening of international borders.
As of yesterday, 8 June, Ireland remains classed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Level 4 destination, “indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.”
However, according to the White House the U.S. is creating ‘working groups’ with other countries, including the EU and the UK, to lift restrictions.
“While we are not reopening travel today, we hope that these expert working groups will help us use our collective expertise to chart a path forward, with a goal of reopening international travel with our key partners when it is determined that it is safe to do so,” a White House official said.
The U.S. Travel Association (USTA) has welcomed the news.
“U.S. Travel and its membership believe a public-private task force can quickly develop a blueprint to reopen international inbound travel and jumpstart a sustained job and economic recovery,” said president and CEO of U.S. Travel Roger Dow.
“With decreased infection rates in the U.S. combined with the administration’s goal of having a critical mass of Americans fully vaccinated by July 4th, there is a true near-term opportunity to safely begin to welcome back international visitors.”
Ireland has provisionally scheduled 19 July as the date for the reopening of international travel, including travel to the U.S. – but in order to do so it needs the U.S. to loosen its restrictions on travel to and from Ireland.
That date is still six weeks away, which will give the working groups plenty of time to assess a constantly evolving situation.
By that stage the vaccination programmes in both countries will have accelerated even further, making the possibility of full restoration of travel between the U.S. and Ireland a more realistic prospect.
“International travel can be safely restarted by applying a risk-based and science-driven approach, and our hope is that the working groups are able to put a reopening framework in place very quickly,” Roger Dow added.
“The travel industry commends the Biden administration for taking this critical and necessary step on the international front, and we look forward to working with the federal government in every way possible to advance this process.”