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US to relax EU and UK travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers

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Vaccinated passengers will be able to travel to the US from the EU and UK from November onwards, the Biden administration will announce on Monday, in a major diplomatic victory for Brussels and London.

The White House will announce a new travel policy on Monday morning, marking the end of the 18-month blanket ban on travel imposed by Donald Trump, the former US president, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that was maintained by Joe Biden.

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Three people with knowledge of the policy told the Financial Times that Monday’s announcement will mean that fully vaccinated passengers will be able to travel once the ban is lifted within weeks. Those involved in clinical trials for vaccines that are not yet approved in the UK will also be allowed to enter the US, a policy which will apply to around 40,000 people.

One person added that the policy is part of a wider framework the Biden administration is developing to cover all international travel, which is intended to replace the patchwork system of bans and restrictions that apply to different parts of the world.

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Under the current policy, only American citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and those with national interest exemptions can travel to the US if they have been in the UK or EU in the previous 14 days.

The White House’s change of direction comes at the start of the UN General Assembly in New York and marks the culmination of weeks of intense diplomacy between Washington, London and Brussels.

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