It is going to take more time for inbound international travel to return to normal in the United States.
According to multiple reports, the White House on Monday announced that the COVID-related travel restrictions will remain in place for the time being.
The White House is reportedly maintaining the restrictions, which have been in place since March 2020, because of concerns over the Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The restrictions bars entry for noncitizens who have been in countries and territories including the U.K., the European Union, China, India, South Africa, and more, over the last two weeks.
President Biden had said earlier in July that an answer on the future of inbound travel from Europe would be incoming and the statement from the White House this week seems to answer those questions.
The decision was made despite consistent pressure from the travel industry to reopen borders and help the industry continue in its COVID recovery.
In a statement reacting to the news, U.S. Travel Association EVP of public affairs and policy, Tori Emerson Barnes said that the time to reopen international travel is now.
“While other nations, like Canada, the U.K. and much of the E.U., have all taken steps to welcome inbound travelers this summer and rebuild jobs and local economies, the United States remains closed to one of the most important segments of the travel economy—the international inbound traveler.
“Given the high rates of vaccination on both sides of the Atlantic, it is possible to begin safely welcoming back vaccinated visitors from these crucial inbound markets.
“We respectfully urge the Biden administration to revisit its decision in the very near term and begin reopening international travel to vaccinated individuals, starting with air corridors between the U.S. and nations with similar vaccination rates.”
It’s not just European restrictions that remain in place. The U.S. earlier this month announced that the border closures with Mexico and Canada would also be extended to Aug. 21. That was despite news that Canada would allow vaccinated U.S. citizens to cross the border without quarantine starting on Aug. 9