U.S. industry groups and lawmakers call on White House to lift travel restrictions


Travelers undergo general screening at a security checkpoint at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Washington, United States, April 12, 2021. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson

WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) – A coalition of 24 industry organizations has urged the White House to lift coronavirus restrictions that prevent much of the world from traveling to the United States, but a House official Blanche told Reuters on Wednesday evening that the reopening will require more discussion.

The group, led by the US Travel Association and representing airlines, casinos, hotels, airports, aircraft manufacturers and others, urged the administration to ease restrictions on travel by July 15. entry imposed last year as the coronavirus spread around the world.

Separately, 75 members of the US House of Representatives are also calling for the relaxation of travel bans, especially entry restrictions for travelers from Canada and Britain.

In early June, the White House launched interagency task forces with the European Union, Britain, Canada and Mexico to consider how to potentially lift the restrictions. These meetings usually take place every two weeks.

“Although these groups have met on several occasions, there are further discussions to be had before we can announce the next steps in reopening travel with any country,” the head of the country told Reuters. White House.

“We want to make sure that we are moving deliberately and that we are able to reopen international travel on a sustainable basis when it is safe. “

All 75 members of the US House of Representatives called on Biden to reopen the US border with Canada to non-essential travelers.

Lawmakers in a letter cited projections that if the restrictions are not lifted, the United States could “lose 1.1 million jobs and an additional $ 175 billion by the end of this year.”

Industry groups have also called for the swift lifting of restrictions on European and other travelers, calling as a first step to allow fully vaccinated travelers from non-high-risk areas like the European Union to enter the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19 at U.S. government meetings, sources said.

Industry and US officials told Reuters they did not expect the administration to lift the restrictions anytime soon.

The White House official said the interagency working groups had reviewed “the progress of our national vaccination efforts and the risk posed by the Delta variant.”

The CDC wants airlines to implement international passenger contact tracing as part of any lifting of restrictions, sources told Reuters.

Airlines and others have urged the administration to lift restrictions covering most non-U.S. Citizens who recently traveled to Britain, Europe’s 26 Schengen countries without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.

Some travel industry officials believe it is increasingly likely that restrictions will not be lifted until after the busy summer travel season.

The 75 lawmakers have called for lifting restrictions that ban most UK travelers and for developing “a risk and data-based roadmap to ease entry restrictions.”

Some members of Congress have also called on the administration to lift rules allowing travelers to wear masks at airports, subway stations and on planes and trains, but are not currently considering lifting those requirements, said officials at Reuters.

In April, the Transportation Security Administration extended the face mask requirement in transit until September 13.

Last month, the administration again extended restrictions on non-essential travel at the Mexican and Canadian land borders until July 21.

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by David Gregorio, Robert Birsel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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