According to a report by Reuters, the Biden administration is considering a plan that will require all foreign travelers who enter the U.S. to be fully vaccinated with a few exceptions. An administration official who has knowledge about the policy said that vaccination against the coronavirus could be a key requirement for allowing non-Americans into the country.
Many countries including Britain, Canada and other countries have relaxed restrictions and currently allow Americans to enter their country and wish for reciprocity. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel had visited the White House, she had taken up the matter of easing of travel restrictions with President Biden who said that the administration would look into the matter.
Airlines and other businesses including the tourism industry have been urging the government to lift travel restrictions. Much of Europe and the U.K. have eased restrictions for American travelers. The chief executive of Delta Airlines told the Financial Times that they have strong booking interest, but the market is only one way as the U.S. is not opening up and it has become a source of frustration for them.
According to Airlines for America, a trade association international travel is down by 40 percent while domestic travel is down by 14 percent.
The delta variant is spreading across the nation and has become a matter of serious concern. Although a large number of cases are among the unvaccinated the numbers are climbing steeply throughout the nation and have become a cause for concern. Amid this situation officials believe that it would be difficult to lift travel restrictions.
On Wednesday evening, White House officials once again said that there was no timetable yet that set out requirements for foreign nationals to be vaccinated. All information about easing travel restrictions have come from unnamed sources and the official stance remains that no decision on lifting travel restrictions has been reached as yet. Industry sources still believe that it will definitely be weeks or even months before these restrictions are lifted.
Critics say that the current travel restrictions which are the same through both the Trump and the Biden administration do not make sense as some of the countries which are currently having high COVID-19 cases are in the unrestricted list while countries that have managed to decrease COVID-19 cases are on the restricted list.