Grant Shapps discusses introduction of 'simpler' travel system
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Tough entry rules in the US have prevented British tourists from enjoying holidays in the US for the last 18 months. It has been reported the ban could be lifted in time for the Thanksgiving national holiday in November.
The US ban on British travellers was first imposed by Donald Trump in March 2020 as the pandemic took hold globally.
The tough rules prevent holidays and ‘non essential’ business trips or family visits from British travellers.
Although it was expected President Biden would lift the ban in June when he visited Cornwall for the G7 summit, it remained in place.
The US has said the ban is to limit the spread of Covid and that the country will be governed by science when it comes to restrictions.
As well as British tourists, the ban has impacted those with family in the US and even the US Open winner, Emma Raducanu, as her family were unable to travel to see her victory.
The UK’s restrictions on US travellers were relaxed in August and double-jabbed visitors from the US are now able to visit without quarantining.
From October 4, the UK Government will lift restrictions further and double-jabbed travellers will not have to take a pre-departure test.
Johnson is hoping to convince Biden to relax the strict rules as the pair meet at the White House.
If he is successful, Christmas and New Year breaks in the USA would become a possibility for British tourists.
It is expected that any lifting of restrictions would only apply to double-vaccinated British passengers.
The US has seen a rise in Covid hospitalisations, deaths and cases as the country’s vaccination programme stalls.
The country is an extremely popular destination with UK travellers and was the fourth most visited nation by Britons in 2019.
Four out of 10 top holiday destinations booked in 2022 by Brits are in the US, according to Skyscanner.
The most popular holiday destinations in the US for British tourists include New York and Florida.
A recent survey by ForbesAdvisor found that over 20 percent of Brits would like to visit the US in 2022.
The US came top as a “dream holiday” destination for Britons, many of whom are planning a holiday for next year.
Travel experts have called for restrictions on British tourists visiting the US to be relaxed as the UK’s vaccination programme advances.
The Prime Minister will also have an opportunity to raise the travel restrictions with Vice President Kamala Harris and congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell on his trip.
If the restrictions are lifted in time for the Christmas holidays, travel operators are expecting a boom in bookings.
Before the end of October, the UK Government has announced British travellers will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on day two after return from the US and other non-red list countries.
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