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US Borders Could Remain Closed until November

US Borders Could Remain Closed until November

Hopes for a sooner-rather-than-later reopening of U.S. borders to visitors from Europe have faded after authorities pushed back the reopening of the U.S.-Canadian border until 21 September at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the UK Telegraph has reported that a “major airline” will this week postpone its scheduled service between London and New York from September to November “amid concerns that there are no signs of any imminent lifting of the ban.”

Airlines Delaying Restart

Virgin Atlantic has already pushed back the restart date for its service from Heathrow to Las Vegas to mid-September in response to rising infection rates in several U.S. states.

Last Friday (20 August), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it was extending restrictions on non-essential travel from Canada through 21 September, even though Canada has already lifted travel restrictions on some Americans travelling in the opposite direction.

Fully vaccinated U.S. visitors have been allowed into the European Union and the UK since 5 June.

Although the rising infection rates in the U.S. prompted the EU to consider reimposing a ban on U.S. arrivals, it has thus far resisted putting the U.S. on its no-entry list.

“No Appetite to Open Up”

The Telegraph quoted Henry Smith, chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation group in the UK, who said: “The figures are going in the wrong direction for the US. I don’t see any appetite in the US to open up sooner rather than later.”

Smith also remarked that the pressure to reopen is not as great on the U.S. as their sizeable domestic market means that international travel makes up a smaller proportion of the industry’s revenue.

Nevertheless, tourism authorities including the USTA have been very vocal in their demands for the Biden Administration to find a way to reopen international borders, but so far to no avail.

 

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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