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USTA Urges US to Open Borders

USTA president and CEO Roger Dow
USTA Urges US to Open Borders

U.S. travel authorities have urged President Biden to follow the EU’s lead in reopening its borders to international travel. The president of the United States Travel Association (USTA), Roger Dow, released a statement calling for a “plan and timetable to safely reopen our borders.”

The EU has announced that it will pass a law mandating the use of an EU-wide Covid Certificate that will facilitate international travel by the middle of July. In response, Roger Dow praised the “European Union’s risk-based, science-driven plan” and called on the United States to follow suit.

“The right conditions are in place,” he said. “[V]accinations are increasing, infections are decreasing, all inbound visitors get tested or have to prove they’ve recovered, and it’s possible to determine vaccine status.”

“Vaccinated Americans can travel to other countries because EU governments know they’re essential tourism spenders and will safely support economic recovery,” the statement continued.

“The U.S. is being left off the UK and EU safe list because we aren’t yet moving forward to let international visitors back in.”

“The U.S. has been a leader in many aspects of managing the pandemic, but is behind our global competitors in pursuing an international economic reopening. The millions of travel-related U.S. jobs that were lost to the pandemic won’t come back on the strength of domestic travel alone, so identifying the path to restarting international visitation is essential to an overall economic recovery.”

The White House, however, has not indicated a willingness to budge on its current restrictions. A spokesperson told Reuters that “there was no changes in travel restrictions planned at the moment.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was reported as saying that any decision was ultimately a public health issue and therefore in the hands of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

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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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