As the restrictions are being gradually lifted as fast as the curve of coronavirus contaminations is decreasing, the whole tourist industry is waiting for one thing: the reopening of the borders between the USA and EU. U.S. borders have been closed for more than a year. European countries on the other hand welcome American visitors again.
Despite the many signals of the resumption of travel, the White House is still adamant.
"America is back in Europe. I have a very different point of view than my predecessor," said the American president, Joe Biden, wanting to bury the hatchet with the Europeans.
While the issue is now at the top of the pile of subjects to be dealt with on the other side of the Atlantic, it goes without saying that Europe is eagerly awaiting reciprocity allowing its citizens to travel to Uncle Sam's country.
Prioritizing Health and Safety
"It goes without saying that we would expect the same from partner countries outside the EU for EU citizens traveling to those countries," European Commission spokesman Adalbert Jahnz told US National Public Radio (NPR).
Unfortunately, the last echoes from the White House do not suggest that the green light is now available. Especially in the USA, one only has to go through the press to understand that Europe is once again worrying about the spread of the Delta variant.
Under these conditions, and despite a general improvement in the health situation in Europe, the U.S. State Department spokesperson was rather evasive about the resumption of trade between the two sides of the Atlantic.
"We look forward to the resumption of travel as soon as the data allows, and that's really the key," said Ned Price.
Working Group of Travel
While a working group has been specially formed on this issue, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the moment it is not possible to give a schedule, nor a date.
"The State Department is also engaged in this working group, but I am not in a position to issue a specific timeline only because it will depend largely on the course of the epidemiology, the response to the virus around the world, the developments including the impact and presence of variants.”
“We will, once again, make these decisions in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of not only Americans, but all travelers, including in this case European travelers," explained the U.S. State Department spokesperson. Washington remains vague, the health criteria governing a reopening are not known, especially as local tourism seems to make up for the absence of Europeans for the moment.
It is then necessary to be patient and wait for the sanitary pressure to go down everywhere in Europe, as the vaccination improves.