While everyone agrees the re-opening of international borders by various countries is key to restarting the beleaguered travel and hospitality sectors, not all countries are on the same page.
On June 18, the European Union added the United States to its approved countries list for entry. The addition to the approved list means travellers from the US, unvaccinated or vaccinated are eligible to travel to the EU. However, it is not binding on the individual countries within the Union. Individual countries still have the final say or impose regulations.
According to reports, countries such as France, Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, had already opened their borders for US travellers. But some countries required proof of vaccination or negative RT-PCR test reports. France, which had earlier said it will allow vaccinated US leisure travellers, later said unvaccinated travellers would also be allowed as long as they submit a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test that was taken within 72 hours prior to boarding. Portugal did not impose any restriction.
Interestingly, the green listing of the US by the EU is in sharp contrast to Canada still not keen to open its borders with the US. The two neighbouring countries share almost 5,500 miles of land border. Travel and hospitality as well as business and economic stakeholders have been clamouring for lifting of border restrictions between the US and Canada to restart tourism and business.
According to reports, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said the country&rsquos land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21.
This came in the wake of Canada announcing that it was further extending its border ban with the US, which was to expire on June 21. All tourist entries to Canada are banned and Canadians returning to the country must quarantine for a 14-day period, including a three-night stay in a government-mandated hotel, media reports said. However, fully vaccinated Canadians, subject to test results, do not have to go into quarantine beginning from July 6, reports said.
The border ban between the two countries has been in place since 2020 as the pandemic began to spread. According to media reports, Canada is reluctant to open its borders until 75 per cent of Canadians have received the first of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine and 20 percent their both shots.
However, the US will allow Canadians to fly into the country but they have to submit a negative Covid-19 test administered within 72 hours of boarding a flight. There is no quarantine requirement once someone arrives in the U.S.