Covid travel: White House to ease restrictions for double vaccinated UK nationals in November
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was 'delighted' that US President Joe Biden is 'reinstating transatlantic travel'
Fully vaccinated UK travellers will be able to visit the US from November.
The White House will lift the 18-month blanket ban on foreign travellers from entering the country, which was introduced by former president Donald Trump at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “delighted” that US President Joe Biden is “reinstating transatlantic travel”.
He added: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
The announcement is a major boost for airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and Heathrow Airport.
They have repeatedly blamed the travel ban for limiting the recovery of passenger numbers during the virus crisis.
Heathrow has gone from being Europe’s busiest airport in 2019 to 10th, behind rivals in cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.
White House Covid-19 co-ordinator Jeff Zients, who announced the end of the travel ban, said all foreign visitors will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination as well as proof of a negative test taken with the previous three days.
Airlines will be required to collect contact information from international travellers so that they can be traced if required.
Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said the easing of restrictions is “a major milestone to the reopening of travel at scale, allowing consumers and businesses to book travel to the US with confidence”.
He went on: “The UK will now be able to strengthen ties with our most important economic partner, the US, boosting trade and tourism as well as reuniting friends, families and business colleagues.”
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “Connectivity between the US and the UK is part of the bedrock of the global economy.
“The Prime Minister has secured a massive win for global Britain in getting these links restarted.”
Around 3.8 million British nationals visited the US every year prior to the pandemic, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.