The United States President, Joe Bide, has raised European citizens’ hopes that the ban imposed on travel from Europe will soon be lifted after remaining effective and keeping the travel process suspended for more than 16 months due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Biden’s comments came during a news conference with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, at the White House when asked about when the US travel ban could end, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“It’s in the process of (considering) how soon we can lift the ban … and I will be able to answer that question to you within the next several days,” Biden pointed out.
In this regard, Chancellor Merkel said that President Biden had also told her the same thing during their meeting, that he was looking into the matter.
“Before such a decision, one has to reflect. It’s not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days,” Merkel pointed out, as it was reported by CNN.
Former US President, Donald Trump, prohibited the entry of travellers from most European countries, in March 2020, as part of its administration’s efforts to halt the further spread of the virus. President Biden extended such a policy early in his term.
The US’s travel ban imposed on European countries has been criticized by the latter’s governments and many associations worldwide. On June 18, the European Council included the United States on its list of countries considered safe based on their epidemiological situation, permitting its residents to enter the European Union Member States restriction-free.
However, the US still hasn’t opened its doors to European travellers.
Last week, the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VCMA) addressed a letter to the United States embassy in Berlin, calling on the authorities to lift the travel ban imposed by Biden’s administration and permit German citizens to travel across the Atlantic again.
Previously, the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, Stavros Lambrinidis, stressed that the US should put an end to COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on European travellers.
According to Lambrinidis, a total of 60 per cent of international investment in the United States comes from Europe.
The US’s decision to lift the ban would bring enormous benefits for carriers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The World Travel and Tourism Council previously reported that Europe’s travel and tourism sector last year suffered the most profound economic collapse due to the Coronavirus.
The report highlighted that Europe’s travel and tourism sector registered a 51.4 per cent decrease (€987 BN) due to entry bans and other restrictions imposed to stop the further spread of the virus.