Travel Stakeholders Beg Biden Administration To Ease Restrictions

As a new surge in the COVID-19 pandemic races across the country, travel stakeholders, lawmakers and mayors of border towns are nonetheless pleading with the Biden Administration to relax restrictions on non-essential travel.

While many European countries have opened travel to Americans, the U.S. has been slow – some might say non-existent – to reciprocate, according to CNN.

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“I would say the pleasantries for taking the time to meet with us have gone out the window and we go right to the meat of the question,” said Peter Vlitas, executive vice president of global supplier relations at Internova Travel Group. “After one and a half years, we get right to it. We want an explanation why.”

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President Joe Biden.

Administration officials are still weighing next steps and whether nonessential restrictions, as well as other limits on travel, can be eased at all amid concerns about the Delta variant, though the White House has indicated it’s not likely anytime soon.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said agency working groups are looking at how to reopen the borders.

“The interagency working groups are currently developing a policy process, and we will be ready when it is the right time to consider reopening travel. And that’ll be guided, as always, by the science and the public health,” Zients said earlier this month.

American officials have also partnered with representatives from the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico to discuss reopening.

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the U.S. are allowed into Canada as of last week but vaccinated Canadians can’t cross the land border with the US if not for an essential purpose until August 21.

Only time will tell when COVID-19 related travel restrictions will be completely lifted. It might be longer than some hope for, as the federal transportation mask mandate was just extended into 2022.

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