Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden will seek a way to unlock travel between the UK and US next month during the summit. As things currently stand, British tourists can’t enter the US if they’ve been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen Zone, Iran, Brazil or China within the previous days. While the US, which is on the Government’s amber list, requires a 10-day quarantine period for anyone coming back to the UK.
But Mr Johnson is said to be hoping that Mr Biden will agree to exempt vaccinated British and American travellers from quarantine restrictions, creating an “air corridor” across the Atlantic.
While it’s believed to be unlikely that the US’s status will change with the list review this week, insiders say Mr Johnson and Mr Biden will want to announce progress during the summit, which kicks off on June 11.
One source said: “This is the kind of thing you use the G7 [summit] for.
“Both Boris and Biden will want to come back with some announcements and this is an obvious one for them to talk over.
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“We have been trying to get this sorted, but this is the higher-ups who can unlock it and the G7 is the place you’d do it.”
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is positive a travel corridor will open up between the two countries this summer.
Mr Bastian said the vaccination rates being so high and the low infection levels of both countries indicated it is “low risk” to travel.
The airline boss said: “We know the medical evidence and the documentation with respect to where the vaccination rates are for both out countries in the US and the UK, where the infection rates of our countries indicate this extraordinarily low risk to travel between the US and the UK.”
Mr Bastian added that this “low risk”, which he cited as “one in five million”, was provided the traveller is vaccinated fully or can provide a negative PCR test on board the flight.
The CEO continued: “The UK is the most important market for travel between the US in terms of UK travellers coming to the US and the US demand of wanting to go into the UK.”
Mr Bastian added they are “going to show other county the avenue of how to do this [travel corridor]” by having a “good testing protocol” and “monitoring the results” in a bid to give people a boost of confidence to travel.
While the Delta boss is confident there will be surge in domestic travel within the US this summer, he doesn’t think international travel will follow suit until 2022.
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Penning an open letter to the leaders alongside the US Chamber of Commerce, multiple airlines grouped together and signed the collective statement.
The CEOs of Delta, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, American Airlines and JetBlue wrote their own letters.
The letter said: “The return of trans-Atlantic flying would not only have a significantly positive impact on our respective economies but will also reunite those who have been separated from their loved ones for over a year.”
Neither Mr Biden nor Mr Johnson has responded to the letter yet, but undoubtedly more will be unveiled in the coming days.