New York: U.S. officials are looking to open travel between New York City and London with shortened traveler quarantine periods as soon as the holidays, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that the growing availability of COVID-19 testing has prompted officials in the Transportation Department, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to revive efforts to establish safe travel corridors between the United States and international destinations.
One U.S. official familiar with the situation told the Journal that both the Trump administration and foreign governments would have to agree to the plan. A DHS official told FOX Business the agency’s work to “safely encourage transatlantic travel while mitigating public-health risks” was in its early stages.
Recent discussions have reportedly focused on an initial corridor with the U.K., with discussions also involving German officials.
While the White House’s National Security Council has reportedly approved the corridor plan to move forward in recent weeks, both U.S. government and aviation officials involved in the planning told the Journal that the country’s high infection rates have been an obstacle in negotiations with foreign leaders to ease travel restrictions, even despite increased testing capabilities.
Currently, American citizens traveling to the U.K. must quarantine for 14 days and are mostly barred from traveling in the European Union. Meanwhile, the U.S. prohibits entry to travelers from the U.K. and Europe unless they are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.