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COVID-related travel restrictions costing US almost $200 million daily

Frontier and Jet Blue planes at Orlando International Airport. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
September 22, 2021

A new study found the current COVID-related restrictions along the borders of the United States are causing a potential daily loss of nearly $198 million.

According to data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), less than 50% of the top 20 most important markets in terms of inbound tourism spending have been granted access to the U.S. for nonessential travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned against travel to many of the largest visitor spending contributors in 2019, including the United Kingdom (8%), Germany (4%), France (3%) and Italy (2%).

The WTTC data suggests the U.S. economy continues to endure financial hardship due to current inbound travel protocols, with potential monthly losses of more than $1.2 billion from the U.K. market alone.

“The U.S. economy and global ranking in GDP contribution is at risk with every day the U.S. borders remain closed to travelers,” WTTC President Julia Simpson said. “The U.S. economy faces losing hundreds of millions by remaining closed to key source markets such as the U.K and the EU.”

“Keeping the U.S. safe is the top priority but blocking whole countries where COVID-19 is under control will cause long term damage to livelihoods in the U.S.,” Simpson continued. “Entry should be based on individual’s status not by country.”

Last month, the European Union announced a new recommendation that member nations should reinstate COVID-related travel restrictions on unvaccinated citizens from the U.S. and five other countries.

Earlier in September, a White House representative revealed that officials were working on a policy that would allow vaccinated international travelers to visit the U.S again after President Joe Biden received backlash from European nations that already reopened to vaccinated Americans.

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