good news

US travel ban to be lifted for vaccinated passengers from November

Simon Coveney said this will come as “very good news” for many Irish people impacted by the ban.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 20th 2021, 6:35 PM

THE WHITE HOUSE has announced the lifting of the current travel ban into the US for all fully vaccinated people from November.

The strict ban has been in place since March 2020 when then-president Donald Trump announced the curbs as part of measures to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19.

The restriction has remained in place for the eight months since Joe Biden’s inauguration and there have been intense diplomatic efforts from the EU and UK in recent months to lift it. 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the change is “something that we, along with our EU colleagues, have been advocating for a considerable time”. 

“Ensuring ease of travel is vital for protecting our strong connections across the Atlantic, be that in business, academia, tourism or family connections,” a statement from Coveney said. 

“With 90% of Irish adults now fully vaccinated, I know this will come as very good news for many in Ireland, the Irish living in the United States, as well as our American friends with links to Ireland and the rest of Europe.”

Jeffrey Zients, coronavirus response coordinator for President Biden, told reporters today that the new “consistent approach” would take effect in “early November.”

The lifting of the ban will apply to all passengers if they are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing.

The European Union in June opened up travel to passengers from the United States, typically requiring proof of vaccination or negative tests.

As it stands, only US citizens, their families or green card holders are allowed enter the US if they have been in the EU, UK or a range of countries in the previous 14 days. 

Democrat congressman from Philadelphia Brendan Boyle, who recently spoke to The Journal, tweeted in response to today’s news “I welcome this positive development and thank the Administration.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently in the US, said he was “delighted”.

Johnson said it was “a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited”.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, accompanying Johnson to the UN General Assembly in New York, called it “excellent news” for travellers to and from the United States.

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