With travel suspended between the UK and US since March 2020, the countries have announced a new task force aimed at restarting transatlantic travel “as soon as possible”.
While many countries around the world cautiously reopen borders, the UK still has the US listed as an “amber” destination on its traffic-light system for travel, meaning anyone returning from the US must quarantine for 10 days. The US maintains a wide ban on most inbound travel, though Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has recently spoken about plans to ease border restrictions between the US and Canada for fully vaccinated individuals.
US president Joe Biden is currently in the UK and meeting in-person with Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time on Thursday, ahead of the G7 summit. The announcement of the task force came from the UK’s transport minister, Grant Schapps, who tweeted that the creation of the task force would “help facilitate the reopening of transatlantic travel”.
According to a UK government statement, the countries aim to “open up travel between the UK and US as soon as possible”. However, no timeline for when travel could resume has been given. Before the pandemic, more than 5 million Brits traveled to the US and 4.5 million Americans visited the UK each year - more than any other country.
The new travel working group will “make recommendations on safely reopening international travel” and explore options for ensuring “that the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy going forward”.