Six Theories On When The U.S./U.K. Travel Ban Will Be Lifted (Forbes) –
President Biden is currently on his first trip overseas since taking office, visiting the U.K. and Europe to attend the G7 Summit in Cornwall, attend a NATO ministerial in Brussels, and meet with Russian President Putin in Geneva. While many families and loved ones were hoping this would be the occasion for announcing a lift of the travel ban between the United States and the United Kingdom and Europe, the White House confirmed earlier this week that those people will have to wait a little longer. Instead, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned the White House is launching working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to discuss a safe reopening of borders. While these efforts have been applauded by airlines, representatives have emphasized the urgency of the matter, and expressed the hope that these working groups will act quickly.
Currently, travelers from China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, European Schengen Zone, Brazil, South Africa and India are all prohibited from entering the United States. Especially in the United Kingdom and European Union, frustration about the travel bans has been growing, considering their successful vaccination programs and rapid reduction of COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately, the travel ban is still in place after almost 15 months.
While it is no secret that the travel ban has tremendous economic consequences, especially in the aviation and tourism sector, “the ban has also been particularly harsh for non-immigrant visa holders in the U.S. They cannot travel back to their home countries because chances are high they will not be allowed back into the U.S. after having visited the U.K. or Schengen Zone.” While multiple European countries have been making exceptions for American travelers if they can prove they have loved ones or family in Europe, and the United Kingdom is welcoming American travelers after a 10-day quarantine, there is simply no option for travelers from these countries to enter the United States, resulting in separated families and loved ones for over a year.
While President Biden is on his first overseas trip to the United Kingdom and Europe since taking office, many are waiting for positive news about the possibility of reuniting with families and loved ones, sooner rather than later.