MIAMI – If Americans, Canadians, and Europeans had any hopes of a lift of US travel restrictions, they were set for disappointment. For the time, being these are going to remain in place with no future view on an opening date.

As reported by Reuters and MailOnLine, the latest declarations from the White House do not promise any positive news in the near future as the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is being monitored by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

This comes notwithstanding the fact that its presence in the US is already well established, particularly in States where the vaccination rate is slowing or lagging.

Map: CDC Media

Comments from the White House

White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, was adamantly clear on the issue by declaring “given where were today, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons”, adding that “the more transmissible Delta variant is spreading both here and around the world”, pointing out that cases are rising particularly among those still unvaccinated.

The CDC has, in the meantime, widened and upgraded its travel advisory that now covers all the 26 EU Countries, and in particular, Spain and Portugal labeled “do not travel” on July 26, the UK, level four added by the State Department on July 19, India, Iran, Brazil, South Africa to cite a few among a long list of level four “do not travel” or level three “avoid travel” countries.

'"That doesn’t mean that having more people who have the Delta variant is the right step." Jen Peski, White House Press Secretary Click To Tweet

Lobbying from the air transport and tourism industries has so far netted no positive results neither has obtained a possible date on when restrictions would be eased. High-level diplomatic and political interventions, as the meeting between President Joe Biden and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have so far brought no changes to the White House travel policy.

US Travel Association

The Administration was criticized by the US Travel Association for pointing out that closing borders do not keep variants out, and that the only way to a normalization of travel for all people is vaccination, an act that has proven its efficacity against the virus.

The travel industry has also highlighted the fact that many other countries, like Canada, the UK, and most of Europe are accepting and welcoming incoming tourists thus bringing much-needed relief to local economies and helping rebuild jobs. On the contrary, the US keeps its borders closed and takes no economical advantage from inbound visitors.

On July 23, during a high-level meeting at the White House, a decision was taken by the Administration with the result that the US barring visitors from entering the country, in force since 2020, is not going to be lifted in the near future and that air transport and tourism industry will have to rely only on domestic activities.

Chart: CDC Media

Featured image: Concourse at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Photo: Miles Aronovitz/Airways