US Planning To Open ‘Travel Corridor’ Between New York And London
In a bid to make it easier for people to go home for the holidays, the US is hoping to open a ‘travel corridor’ between New York and London.
The idea is looking to come into play soon, possibly in time for Thanksgiving in America on November 26, though it could by the December holidays.
As it stands, only US citizens and permanent residents can enter the US from the UK and Europe. US residents, however, can enter the UK on the condition they quarantine for 14 days.
If the corridor comes into play, it will mean UK and US residents can travel between the two countries without quarantining for as long. Prior to travelling, people will have to take a COVID test.
British and American authorities had reportedly discussed the possibility of a travel corridor between the two cities earlier this year, but the urgency has been increased with the holidays in mind.
The Wall Street Journal reported the news yesterday, October 10. While it has been said authorities want to shorten quarantine times, it’s currently unknown what these times will be shortened to. There are also said to be talks happening between the US and Germany about a similar arrangement.
A Homeland Security official said the agency’s work to ‘safely encourage trans-Atlantic travel while mitigating public health risks’ was in its early stages.
It’s said the potential travel corridor will rely heavily on people having access to rapid tests that are less accurate, but give results in much less time.
According to the Independent, earlier this month Tampa airport in Florida became the first airport in the US to sell the tests to travellers. Antigen tests with an 88% accuracy, which give results within 15 minutes, became available to purchase for $57 (£44) before boarding or after landing.
For those who wanted a more accurate reading, $125 (£96) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests could be purchased . These are said to give 95% accuracy, but take up to 48 hours for results. Travellers who want a PCR test can travel to the airport in the days prior to their flight so they can get their results in time.
While these tests are not mandatory, testing would be for those wishing to travel between New York and London if the travel corridor plans go ahead.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow, said at the end of September that he hopes the flights will be available in time for Thanksgiving, adding that the Prime Minister ‘hopes to go to a trial in the second half of October’, and that the scheme ‘seems entirely feasible’ by Thanksgiving.
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