Travel restrictions between the US and UK are about to ease

In the US, Britain has been downgraded from Do Not Travel to Reconsider Travel.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

In the future, vaccine passports may be needed for global travel.

Sarah Tew/CNET

US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have announced the Atlantic Charter, part of which will see travel between the US and the UK resume. The two leaders are set to ease COVID-19 restrictions, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Wednesday. The Atlantic Charter comes Thursday as part of the G7 summit, and includes a bilateral technology partnership across artificial intelligence and quantum computing, as well as fighting cyberattack threats.

A new US-UK travel working group will "make recommendations on safely reopening international travel" as soon as possible, Downing Street said Thursday. 

"Many people in the UK and US have been prevented from seeing family and friends for over 400 days as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions," Downing Street said in a statement. "The working group will work to explore options for resuming up UK-US travel and ensure that the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel."

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine passports will play a part in global travel

Climate change and fighting cancer are also in the Atlantic Charter, so named for an agreement between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt following World War II.

"While Churchill and Roosevelt faced the question of how to help the world recover following a devastating war, today we have to reckon with a very different but no less intimidating challenge: how to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic," Johnson said Thursday. 

The US in April issued Level 4: Do Not Travel advisories for more than 80% of the world's nations, including the UK, due to the international risk of COVID-19. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week eased some of those restrictions, and the UK has been downgraded from a Level 4 warning to Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

The US has vaccinated tens of millions more people than every other nation in the world, with over 140 million people in America now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The UK, in third place, has fully vaccinated 28 million people as of June 9. Both nations have fully vaccinated around 42% of their population.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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