The U.S. Travel Association (USTA), Airlines for America (A4A) and Airports Council International-North American (ACI-NA) joined 21 other travel, tourism and aviation groups this week in calling for the lifting of restrictions on international travel to and from the U.S., while also releasing a policy blueprint for reopening borders safely.
The policy blueprint, “A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel,” identifies policy principles for welcoming international visitors back to the U.S. while keeping health and safety as the top priority.
“The travel industry agrees that being guided by the science is absolutely the correct approach, and the science has been telling us for some time that it’s possible to begin to safely reopen international travel,” said Roger Dow, USTA president and CEO. “Our document continues to prioritize safety while providing a roadmap for solving for the billions of dollars in economic damage resulting from the continued restrictions on crossing our borders, in particular from allied countries with similar vaccination rates. We have the knowledge and the tools we need to restart international travel safely, and it is past time that we use them.”
The coalition noted that for every week the that travel restrictions remain in place, the U.S. economy is losing $1.5 billion in spending just from Canada, the European Union, and the U.K. – enough money to support 10,000 American jobs. The coalition is calling for the easing of entry restrictions by July 15, when the U.S. is forecast to achieve widespread immunity and sustained declines in infections and hospitalizations.
“The science is clear – it is time, if not past time, for the U.S. government to take action and reopen travel between the U.S. and low-risk countries,” says Nicholas Calio, A4A president and CEO.
The policy recommendations include reserving entry restrictions for only the highest-risk countries, replacing all other blanket travel restrictions with a framework of entry protocols based on a country-by-country and individual traveler risk assessment, quickly reopening travel between the U.S. and U.K, and allowing expedited entry for fully vaccinated travelers from non-high-risk countries.