CBS Newspath Now (WRBL) — The U.S. is revising its international travel policy, ending a travel ban on visitors from the EU and the UK.
The White House says all international visitors are welcome in the U.S. starting in early Nov., but they must be fully vaccinated.
Mike Greatrex from Wales welcomes the news. “The American people have missed out on a lot of UK tourism. The UK tourists have missed out on doing their shopping trips to New York City,” he says.
A new study from the World Travel and Tourism Council estimates the UK ban alone cost the U.S. economy $1.2 billion a month.
“It’s absolutely critical that we get that connection between these great partners across the Atlantic back together again,” says Julia Simpson, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The Biden Administration’s news comes just after Britain made it easier for Americans to visit. Matthew Upchurch is the CEO of the luxury travel network Virtuoso.
“The greatest news is that you don’t have to have a test in the U.S. before you get here and now there’s the rapid test when you arrive,” he says.
Almost 4.5 million Americans visited the UK in 2019, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics. When the pandemic hit in 2020, that number dropped to less than a million.
More tourists from the U.S. travel here than from any other country and they spend the most too.
Travel advisor Martha Gaughen from Atlanta visited Buckingham Palace Monday morning, Sept. 20.
“It is so wonderful to be back in the UK. It’s just been too long,” she says. Gaughen is one of more than 40 American travel advisors touring the newest attractions in London.
The UK hopes millions more tourists will follow now that the gates are open.
The Biden administration is also tightening testing requirements for unvaccinated Americans returning to the U.S.