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According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, as the holiday season kicks in, U.S. officials plan to reopen the trip between New York City and London by the end of the year.
Details are yet to be released, but WSJ states that while traveling between the two cities, the growing availability of Covid-19 tests in the U.S. can allow shortened traveler quarantine periods.
American citizens are traveling to the U.K. must be quarantined for 14 days, and most of them are not permitted to fly to the European Union. Entering the U.S. is still banned for U.K. travelers and Europe unless they are members of the United States or are permanent residents.
Since coming to a halt in the early weeks of the pandemic, air travel has remained sluggish due to travelers’ fear of catching the coronavirus and closed borders or compulsory quarantine periods for incoming travelers.
International travel took a hard hit, and the lack of fliers has forced out business for some international airlines and wiped out profits worth billions of dollars. For airlines and governments whose economies are dependent on travel, reviving popular vacation and business routes has been a priority.
In states such as Hawaii and destinations such as Costa Rica and Jamaica, some airlines have already collaborated with governments on trial plans that reduce the mandatory quarantine periods for passengers.
The restricted availability of testing in the U.S. had previously caused longer waiting times and stalled attempts to open international travel. As a primary method, rapid tests that compensate precision for speed are likely to be used.
According to one U.S. official, both the Trump administration and the international community would agree to the proposal. Federal officials have been in negotiations with their U.K. members. German officials and counterparts on the matter.
Around 961,000 or just under 30 million tests a month are the seven-day average of new daily tests performed in the U.S… At the same time, in September, the Department of Health and Human Services said around 90 million tests were eligible.
It will be a significant action for the airline industry to reopen travel between New York and London. It’s the world’s most profitable airline route, giving British Airways over $1 billion in revenue per year.
Furthermore, other industry heavyweights, including American, Delta, United, and Virgin Atlantic, run the route on a near-hourly basis during regular travel hours. If there is a widely accessible vaccine, these types of travel corridors may answer reopening international travel.