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COVID-19

Biden administration ponders easing travel restrictions

Amanda Peacher Aug 6, 2021
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A traveler arrives at London's Heathrow Airport in August 2021. The U.S. may soon be lifting restrictions for vaccinated international travelers. Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

Biden administration ponders easing travel restrictions

Amanda Peacher Aug 6, 2021
Heard on:
A traveler arrives at London's Heathrow Airport in August 2021. The U.S. may soon be lifting restrictions for vaccinated international travelers. Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
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The U.S. is still closed to many international travelers. The Biden administration wants to change that — but only if visitors are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Reuters.

The White House has not announced a timetable for lifting restrictions, citing concerns over rising COVID cases. Still, some travelers are waiting, with packed bags.

“There is, I think, still a very strong pent-up demand for people to have that holiday,” said Chris Jackson with the market research firm Ipsos.

He said that many international travelers are eager to get to the U.S And when restrictions do lift, some visitors will be tourists, but many will come to see family.

“I think, well, we’ll just be booking flights as soon as we possibly can,” said Alice von Simson.

She said her British mom has never met her 14-month-old granddaughter in San Diego. They’re still waiting to celebrate her first birthday.

“Just crossing all of our fingers and toes that we can do a first birthday party with my mom before she is two,” von Simson said.

The economy takes a $1.5 billion hit every week the travel bans stay in place, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Even if some people feel ready to come to the U.S., Jackson from Ipsos said that may be temporary.

“This is still a very shifting landscape,” he said. And the delta variant could delay a lot of travel plans — again.

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