The Biden administration is coming under pressure to ease travel bans for international tourists that were originally put in place to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Europe opening its borders to American tourists and vaccination rates increasing in the U.S., public health experts and travel industry groups are saying the time is right to restart international travel.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that the U.S. is looking to the advice of medical experts on the best course of action, but that a group of American and European officials are working together on an agreement.
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The U.S. is banning most travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak. The travel restrictions do not apply to US citizens returning home from Europe, only to foreign nationals present in 26 European countries over a two week period ahead of their forecast arrival in the US.
This as actor Tom Hanks and his wife both test positive for the disease in Australia, and as the number of cases in the U.S. continues to rise to over 1,200–up tenfold in a week–with at least 38 deaths.
Neither the UK nor Ireland are included in the travel ban, which begins at midnight Friday March 13. It applies only to residents of the border-free travel Schengen zone of Europe.
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