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Industry Unveils Blueprint for International Travel Reopening

Two dozen travel groups urge administration to lift restrictions on inbound visitors to the US by July 15

A coalition of 24 travel trade organizations has released a policy blueprint for reopening US borders to inbound international travel. The blueprint, called “A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel,” urges the government to lift restrictions by July 15.

According to the coalition, each week that travel restrictions remain in place costs the US economy $1.5 billion in spending just from Canada, the European Union, and the UK. The proposal identifies policy principles for welcoming international visitors back to the US while keeping health and safety as the top priority.

The group is urging the federal government to take immediate steps toward reopening, including:

  • Quickly lifting entry restrictions and reopen travel between the US and the UK, based on the two countries’ similar vaccination records.
  • Allowing expedited entry into the US for fully vaccinated individuals from non-high-risk countries. 
  • Easing entry restrictions by July 15, 2021, when the US is forecast to achieve widespread immunity and sustained declines in infections and hospitalizations. 

Broader proposals in the policy framework include:

  • Reserving entry restrictions for only the highest-risk countries.
  • Replacing all other blanket travel restrictions with a framework of entry protocols based on a country-by-country and individual traveler risk assessment.
  • Ensuring the framework is easy to understand, communicate, and implement

“The travel industry agrees that being guided by the science is absolutely the correct approach, and the science has been telling us for some time that it’s possible to begin to safely reopen international travel,” said US Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow.

“We have the knowledge and the tools we need to restart international travel safely, and it is past time that we use them,” Dow added, stressing that policies should remain agile should circumstances change.

US Travel has been urging government and industry to adopt more clear and consistent guidelines for reopening travel. Most recently the organization joined a coalition of travel industry businesses and organizations in an initiative called “Let’s Meet There.” The goal is to advance the full and safe reopening of the domestic business travel sector.

Signatories to the blueprint for international travel include: Airlines for America, Airports Council International – North America, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, the Aerospace Industries Association, the American Association of Airport Executives, the American Gaming Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the American Society of Travel Advisors, American Tours International, LLC, the Cargo Airline Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Global Business Travel Association, the International Air Transport Association, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the International Franchise Association, the International Inbound Travel Association, the National Air Carrier Association, the National Restaurant Association, RTCA, the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association, the Regional Airline Association, The Travel Technology Association, the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Travel Association.

Read the full policy blueprint here.