The President of the United States, Joe Bid, has raised hopes of European citizens that the ban on travel from Europe will soon be lifted after it has been in place and kept travel suspended for more than 16 months due to the outbreak of the Corona virus.
Biden’s comments came during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House when asked when the US travel ban would expire, TheSchengen.com reports.
Biden noted, “It’s in the process of (looking at) how quickly we can lift the ban… and I’ll be able to answer that question for you in the next few days.”
In this regard, Chancellor Merkel said that President Biden also told her the same thing during their meeting, that he is studying the matter.
Before making such a decision, one has to think. “It is not reasonable that she would have to take it back after only a few days,” Merkel noted, as reported by CNN.
Former US President Donald Trump banned entry to travelers from most European countries, in March 2020, as part of his administration’s efforts to stem the spread of the virus. President Biden extended this policy early in his term.
The US travel ban imposed on European countries has been criticized by the latter’s governments and many associations around the world. On June 28, the European Council included the United States in its list of countries considered safe based on their epidemiological status, allowing its residents to enter EU member states without restrictions.
However, the US has not yet opened its doors to European travelers.
Last week, the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VCMA) sent a letter to the US Embassy in Berlin, calling on authorities to lift the Biden administration’s travel ban and allow German citizens to travel across the Atlantic again.
Previously, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, Stavros Lamprinides, stressed that the United States must end COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on European travelers.
According to Lambrinidis, a total of 60 percent of international investment in the United States comes from Europe.
The US decision to lift the ban would bring enormous benefits to airlines on both sides of the Atlantic.
The World Travel and Tourism Council reported earlier that the travel and tourism sector in Europe last year suffered the deepest economic meltdown due to the Corona virus.
The report highlighted that the travel and tourism sector in Europe recorded a decline of 51.4 percent (987 billion euros) due to entry bans and other restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus.