US Travel Ban to Stay: Europeans and Others Banned in the US

US Travel Ban to Stay: Europeans and Others Banned in the US

The United States announced on 26 July that it will keep existing COVID-19 restrictions on international travel in place for now due to concerns about the surging infection rate because of the Delta variant.

It was the latest sign that the White House is having to recalibrate its thinking around the coronavirus pandemic as the more infectious variant surges across the US and a substantial chunk of the population resists vaccination.

It was also a reversal from the sentiment President Joe Biden voiced earlier this month when he said his administration was “in the process” of considering how soon the U.S. could lift the ban on European travel bound for the US after the issue was raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to the White House.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the restrictions would continue for now.

Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated, and appears likely to continue in the weeks ahead.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

The decision means the country’s current travel restrictions, which deny entry for people from the European Schengen area, United Kingdom, and other countries, will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Causes for Concern

The Delta variant is a mutated coronavirus that spreads more easily than other variants. It was first detected in India but now has been identified around the world.

The Delta variant now accounts for about 83% of cases nationwide and has led to a spike in US COVID-19 cases. In the last two weeks, cases have increased 171% in the US, and the death rate is up 19% over the week before.

The rise in cases has prompted some state and local officials to reinstate masking guidance, even for vaccinated Americans.

The decision to maintain the restriction comes just one week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should avoid travel to the United Kingdom because of a spike in coronavirus cases. 

When will the US rescind its travel ban? 

When asked if Biden would lift travel restrictions in the event airlines adopted vaccine passports, Psaki stated that there are “ongoing working groups” focused on how to reopen international travel into the U.S.

There is a range of topics in those discussions that are ongoing. The president receives regular briefings on them, but we rely on public health and medical advice on when we’re going to determine changes to be made.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

Travel industry groups have urged the Biden administration to open international travel.

Most of continental Europe has relaxed restrictions on Americans who are fully vaccinated, although the United Kingdom still requires quarantines for most visitors arriving from the US.  

The rise and prevalence of COVID-19 variants in Europe, especially the Delta mutation, has caused the US government to tread slowly about increasing transatlantic travel. 

How to Avoid the US Travel Ban

Although The US travel ban is still in place you can still travel to the US without breaking any rules. To do so you have to use the avoiding route which means you should spend 16 days in a country where are you which is not subject to the travel ban.

People are spending time and travel to places like the Caribbean or Mexico, and then flying direct to the US from there. Check out our blog post on how to avoid the US travel ban from where you are. 

Another option is also to apply for a National Interest Exception (NIE) to travel to the US. This is where you apply for permission to travel direct from countries effect. Read our blog post to know if you are eligible for an NIE and how to apply for one!

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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And because of the pandemic, don’t forget to get your travel insurance, which will cover you for flight disruptions and pandemic related matters.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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