PLANS to resume travel between the UK and the US are expected to be announced next week, according to the Foreign Secretary.
The US remains closed to Brits, with a UK travel ban in place since March 2020, while the US is currently on the UK’s amber list.
Plans for a UK – US travel corridor hope to be announced next week[/caption]
However, it was hoped that a new transatlantic corridor could open between the two countries as President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson meet at the G7 Summit this week
The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that while the topic was discussed, an agreement is yet to be announced although hopes to be have more plans revealed next week.
He explained they they were: “not in a position to make formal announcement,” adding: “But of course we’re looking at that with the US and others. As soon as we can we want to open up.
“We’re in this race at the moment between getting everyone second-dose vaccinated in the UK and making sure that the variants don’t spread and thats the number one priority.
“We can’t open up as much as we’d like until we’ve got clarity and evidence that we’ve won that race. We’ll know more next week.”
However, he warned: “It’s not something that we’ll be announcing imminently.”
It is hoped that an agreement between the UK and the US could open up travel again[/caption]
Brits are eager to return to US hotspots including New York and Florida[/caption]
It follows the announcement of a new US taskforce, being overseen in the UK by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and will be chaired by senior officials in the Department for Transport and their US counterparts.
Plans to reopen transatlantic travel have been dismissed by industry leaders as lacking “clarity”.
Before the outbreak of coronavirus, the UK-US air corridor was one of the busiest in the world.
More than five million people from the UK visited the US every year, with 4.5 million trips made in the reverse direction.
Airlines including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have been pushing for a travel corridor between the UK and the US, citing the strong vaccine rollout in both countries.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss warned airlines and passengers needed clarity on when travel will resume, adding: “Restrictions on transatlantic travel are costing the UK £23 million each day and, despite one of the highest vaccination rates globally, the UK is now falling behind the EU’s reopening.
“For global Britain to be seen as the best place to do business, visit and invest, UK Government must act immediately to safely reopen the skies.”
British Airways boss Sean Doyle said the announcement of a taskforce was “a step in the right direction,” but added: “We are now at a critical point and need action without delay, including clear criteria and a timeline.
“Anything other than this could result in tough consequences.”
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