The news from the United States, announced yesterday afternoon, was received with optimism in the EU and the UK: Washington is lifting the travel restrictions on coronavirus that have been in effect since March 2020.
European capitals and businesses await economic recovery. Already in early November, as large American networks inform today, access will be open for vaccinated travelers from abroad, subject to certain conditions – a mask and a test 3 days before arriving in the United States. Airlines will implement a passenger tracking system to collect information to communicate with travelers, said Jeff Zaens, White House pandemic coordinator.
The restrictive measures in force for more than a year and a half due to the coronavirus affected the EU, China and the UK, and then Brazil and India were included in this list. Mr Zaens notes that the US has had ample time to create a global system based on “individuals” rather than differences in treatment based on country of origin.
US President Joe Biden, speaking elsewhere, said that stricter measures will be applied to unvaccinated Americans who return home from an overseas trip: passing mandatory testing one day before returning to the United States and re-arriving.
According to AFP, the US government has tightened its stance on vaccinations in recent weeks and published numerous announcements about vaccinations where the federal authorities have the funds. However, a radical decision has not yet been introduced – to introduce compulsory vaccination on domestic flights.
The lifting of restrictions on foreign travelers has been welcomed in the UK and the European Union. Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, said he was “extremely pleased”, tweeting:
“This is a fantastic boost for business and commerce, and it’s great that families and friends on both sides of the ocean can be reunited.”
British Foreign Secretary Liz Trace echoes him:
“Great news for UK travelers to the US. This is important for our economic recovery, our families and our business. ”
The UK’s optimism is understandable; it is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe from the pandemic. More than 135,000 people have died there from the effects of Covid-19, but according to the APE EIA, more than 80% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated.
He called the decision of the United States and Berlin “great news”, especially for the German economy. Olaf Soltz, Minister of Finance and Deputy Chancellor of Germany, said:
“Great news for German and European investments, our exports and transatlantic relations in general.”
The European Commission on Monday called the US decision “a welcome step for torn families”:
“We welcome the announcement by the United States that fully vaccinated EU travelers will soon be able to travel to the United States again.”
Air France-KLM Group General Manager Smith Ben also expressed his satisfaction in an interview with Agence France-Presse:
“Great news. The lifting of travel restrictions to the United States for people vaccinated against Covid-19 is great news that has been waiting for a year and a half. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Franco-Dutch airline handled 40% of the turnover of routes across the North Atlantic, opening the border will improve results. “
He assured that Air France-KLM can quickly respond to the projected growth in demand.