It’s the news expats living in the USA and their families have been waiting for - the travel ban is coming to an end. For 18 months, only American citizens, their immediate families and green card holders have been able to enter the States.
A lucky few could get in with a special national interest exemption waiver, but for the majority who had been in the UK or EU in the previous 14 days, the border was closed.
It’s proved a family nightmare for many who could no longer easily meet. Births, deaths and funerals missed, special moments truncated.
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The ban was put in place by former president Donald Trump. It was maintained by President Joe Biden determined to protect the US from additional Covid infections. But as rates in the UK and EU fell and those in the USA rose it seemed increasingly pointless.
For months, the airline industry has lobbied for a change as schedules were slashed and the odd daily flight crossed the Atlantic virtually empty.
It’s good news too for tourists. Around four million Brits come here every year bringing plenty of spending power. When we covered the reopening of Broadway last week, I was genuinely shocked how many times we were told how much British tourists were missed.
There will be vaccination requirements and be warned - certainly in New York you need your vaccination certificate to get into most places. However, come November that may feel like a small inconvenience.
America is open again….mum, you’d better start packing!
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