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Holiday boost as US to lift travel ban for double-jabbed UK travellers

·3-min read
New York’s world-famous Manhattan skyline (PA)
New York’s world-famous Manhattan skyline (PA)

The White House has confirmed fully vaccinated travellers from the UK will be able to fly to the US from November.

The move announced on Monday marks an end a travel ban which has been in place since March last year under Donald Trump’s presidency.

Travellers will need proof of vaccination before boarding a plane to the US.

They will also need proof of a negative Covid test taken within three days of flying, the White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients confirmed. America is also lifting its ban on travellers from the EU.

Fully vaccinated passengers will not be required to quarantine on arrival in the country.

Shares in airlines soared ahead of the confirmation, with British Airways owner IAG jumping 10 per cent and EasyJet rising 2.6 per cent.

In a statement to the House, Grant Shapps said: “I’m delighted I can confirm vaccinated Brits can travel into the US from early November, recriprocating policy we introduced in the summer.

“This is a testament to the hard work and progress made by the expert working group, set up at the G7, to restart transatlantic travel.”

He added: “The past 18 months hugely frustrating for anyone wanting to travel abroad. In 2020, our only weapon we had to fight spread of covid was to keep people apart. However, this year we’ve seen significant progress.”

Before his statement, the Transport Secretary had tweeted: “Brilliant collaboration through our UK/US working group has led to Transatlantic flights resuming from Nov for double jabbed! Great outcome.”

Before the pandemic, more than four million Britons jetted out to the US every year.

Boris Johnson celebrated the news as “a fantastic boost for business and trade”.

He added it was “great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again”.

New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss welcomed the “excellent news” about the easing of US travel restrictions.

She said it was “important for our economic recovery, families and trade”.

Figures in the travel industry welcomed the move as “brilliant news”.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, wrote on Twitter: “Brilliant news at last from (US President) Joe Biden – enabling a multi-billion pound part of the travel industry to get going again in November.

“The transatlantic market is vital to British Airways, Virgin Atlantic (and) Aer Lingus.”

Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO and Chairman said: “Today’s news, which will see our two nations reunited after more than 18 months apart, marks an historic moment and one which will provide a huge boost to Global Britain as it emerges from this pandemic.

“We are immensely grateful to the Prime Minister and his Government for all the hard work that’s gone into securing this deal with the US, and which builds upon last Friday’s announcement on the lifting of many travel restrictions. Our customers should now feel that the world is re-opening to them and they can book their trips with confidence.”

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