US Travel: Calls for Timeline To Reopen International Travel

US Travel: Calls for Timeline To Reopen International Travel

The US borders have been closed to so many people for a year now.

The US Travel Association and 26 other organizations in the tourism and aviation industry have penned a letter to the White House asking the administration to partner with them to “develop…a risk-based, data-driven roadmap to rescind inbound international travel restrictions.”

Leaders in both the travel and aviation industries are asking for a plan to lift the international entry ban by 1 May 2021.

In the letter, they noted that 2020 international arrivals to the US fell 62% from Mexico versus the previous year, 77% from Canada and 81% from overseas markets, for a total loss to the US economy of $146 billion last year.

US Travel estimates that if these international travel bans aren’t lifted, the US economy may not restore the jobs of 1.1 million Americans, and they estimate $262 billion in export spending will be lost by the end of 2021.

Were travel to resume by 4 July 2021, and reach approximately 40% of 2019 levels for the remainder of the year, US Travel says it would stimulate economic recovery by adding $30 billion in incremental spending and bringing back 225,000 American jobs.

Supported by Data

However, the letter states that controlling the pandemic should also be of the utmost priority, and notes that its May timeline for an international reopening plan is supported by President Biden’s priority to make every American eligible for a vaccination by 1 May.

To be clear, at this time, we do not support removal or easing of core public health protections, such as the universal mask mandate, inbound international testing requirement, physical distancing or other measures that have made travel safer and reduced transmission of the virus. However, the data and science demonstrate that the right public health measures are now in place to effectively mitigate risk and allow for the safe removal of entry restrictions.

letter to the White House from the tourism and aviation industry

The letter also highlights favorable trends, including declining infections and hospitalisations as well as the increase in the number of Americans vaccinated.

The US’s travel groups support exempting vaccinated travellers from testing requirements, doing away with quarantines for tested travellers including an update to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to reflect this change and developing “uniform Federal principles for COVID-19 health credentials” to verify COVID test results and vaccinations.

In its most recent guideline change earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did not lift its recommendation that US travellers should avoid international trips, in spite of the 31 million Americans who were vaccinated at that time. 

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