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Travel corridor between UK and US 'might launch by June' as countries in talks about 'safe travel plan'

THE travel corridor between UK and United States may relaunch by June as officials discuss implementing a "safe travel plan," reports say.

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy firm The PC Agency, revealed London and Washington DC are considering trialling a travel scheme after May as the coronavirus vaccine is rolled out.

Charles told the Daily Mail both "governments are in negotiations at the moment which are proceeding positively, about a possible pilot bilateral corridor scheme to enable safe travel between the two countries after the end of May."

"One of the (eight) Global Travel Taskforce work-streams is called 'Engaging with other like-minded countries [like the US]," he added.

"The Biden Administration has also been consulting in the US about opening up borders in advance of American Independence Day in July."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night said international holidays "do look difficult for the time being" and warned of tougher border controls amid fear over mutant strains being brought in.

CNBC cited two sources in the Biden administration who revealed that he is “looking toward the middle of May” to relax travel restrictions.

This would include the land border with Mexico and Canada and allow travelers from the UK, Europe and Brazil into the US.

Americans will be vaccinated at that point after Biden called on states to make every adult eligible to get the jab by May.

The first Covid-free transatlantic flight landed in London back in November after all 36 United Airlines passengers and crew were tested before getting on the plane.

It left Newark Liberty International Airport, landed at Heathrow and all the passengers isolated for 14 days, as the service ran for a month.

While the vaccine rollout continues, British people are on lockdown and have to have a "legally permitted reason" to travel abroad and are encouraged to avoid "the whole of the US based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks."

Those arriving in the UK from the US have to self-isolate.

Charles said by March 29, more countries will be considered high-risk in the UK and put on their red list before April 5 when the Travel Taskforce advice is revealed.

He said testing and vaccine certificates will be needed to travel by May 17.

Last night, the British PM said: "We must be wary of the potential for a third wave.

"I want to be clear with the public we keep all these measures under review, insofar as it's necessary to take extra measures to protect this country against new variants of concern.

"We've heard already that there are other European countries where the disease's now rising so things certainly look difficult for the time being." 

British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson confirmed "travel may be one of the later things to be relaxed" and that "by the autumn it will feel a lot more normal'.

The news comes as aviation and travel industry lobby groups and trade organizations urged the US government to get a roadmap up and running.

Members of 26 trade groups signed and sent a letter to Biden's Covid-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients on 22 March.

It emphasized “the need for a data-driven, risk-based roadmap to reopen international travel is urgent.”

Airlines for America (A4A), the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the Regional Airlines Association (RAA), IATA, pilot union Southwest Airline Pilots Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were the trade groups included.

It suggested blanket testing for inbound passengers while vaccinated passengers would be exempt and called for a May 1 solution.

This was so “the country can open up to non-US tourists before the summer travel season" amid fears the industry couldn't withstand another lockdown.

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