Biden and Johnson agree to revive UK travel “as soon as possible”
The US and UK are expected to open travel between the two countries “as soon as possible” thanks to a new Atlantic charter.
The statement will be modeled on a joint declaration from 1941 of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who set out their worldview after WWII.
President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are expected to accept the Atlantic Charter on Thursday in Cornwall, where the two have their first in-person meeting before on the way to the G7 summit.
When will US-UK travel reopen?
While the original Atlantic Charter included historic agreements to promote democracy and free trade, its successor will include a pledge to lift travel restrictions between the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a government statement. British.
Travel between the two countries has largely stalled for the past 15 months. Most American travelers cannot visit London without quarantine for 10 days, and UK residents are not allowed to travel to the United States
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Before the pandemic, more than 5 million Britons visited the United States each year, while more than 4.5 million Americans visited the United Kingdom – more than any other country, according to the British government.
Reopening travel between the two countries will be made possible by a new travel task force, which will make recommendations on how to safely reopen international travel. The working group will be overseen by the UK Secretary of State for Transport and chaired by senior officials from the Department for Transport and their US counterparts.
Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor said wednesday that the United States has established expert public health task forces with the United Kingdom and the European Union to move towards easing travel restrictions.
“The purpose of these working groups is to share data and define both milestones and criteria to allow travel between our two countries to reopen as quickly as possible, in accordance with public health guidelines,” Sullivan said. .
How will the Delta variant impact COVID restrictions?
The charter deal comes as vaccination rates around the world continue to rise and countries begin to ease travel restrictions. Some countries in the European Union, including France and Spain, reopen their borders to fully vaccinated travelers. Others, like Canada, government officials hinted at updates on travel restrictions in the coming weeks.
UK health experts recently noted that the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in the UK could delay plans to lift most of the remaining lockdown restrictions on June 21. The variant was first identified in India is 40% more transmissible than the Alpha variant.
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