What you need to know about the new US travel rules
Posted On June 17, 2021
US travel restrictions were tightened on Tuesday as the US and European Union launched a new travel package that would make it harder for Americans to travel abroad.
Key points:American travel restrictions for tourists will increase by 30% in 2018New EU travel restrictions are set to be in place by January 2019The US is among the world’s biggest travel buyers and the EU is a major source of US touristsIn a statement, the US travel authorities said the new restrictions would affect the “largest market share” in the country.
The new EU rules are expected to affect an estimated 1.1 million American tourists annually and would mean an increase of $2.4 billion (£2.1 billion) in direct spending on tourism over the next five years.
While the travel ban will affect many Americans, the EU travel ban is aimed at people from countries like Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, among others.
The European Union will introduce its new travel restrictions in the coming weeks, with a two-year waiting period for travellers from those countries.
The European Commission has also asked European countries to suspend new agreements with the US over the ban, in an attempt to limit the damage it will do to US trade with the bloc.US travel restrictions would be eased for Americans by a 10% increase in the number of people allowed to travel from January 2019, the statement said.
The EU restrictions would apply to tourists from countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, with travellers from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and Somalia still affected by the US restrictions.
“We expect the new EU restrictions will be rolled out in the following weeks and we will continue to monitor them closely,” the US government said in a statement.
“The US ban is a direct attack on American businesses, businesses that support American workers, and on our economy, which has a lot of potential to create jobs and economic growth.”
The US travel ban had already been lifted by a temporary halt in March.
It was due to expire on Friday.
In its statement, American Airlines said the US was “unable to compete with our European counterparts in a free market and has been unfairly singled out by the EU”.
“The EU is not interested in competing with US airlines and has refused to grant American visas,” it said.
“The Trump administration’s actions are yet another example of how Washington has turned its back on the future of our country and our people.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the changes were part of the US “pivot” to Asia, and that they would be phased in over the coming months.
“I think what you are seeing is a concerted effort to try and roll back the positive changes that have been implemented over the last several months and to try to push back on those positive changes,” he said.