Thanks to improved tests, the US is planning to open a "travel corridor" between New York and London in time for the holidays.
- US officials are said to be trying to open travel between NYC and London by the holidays and reduce quarantine times for travelers
- Among the plans would be to test travelers before their flight and upon arrival
- The increase in rapid COVID-19 testing has encouraged authorities to reconsider plans to create safe travel corridors between the US and international destinations
U.S. officials hope to open up the New York City-London trip and cut quarantine times for travelers until the holiday season.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the increasing availability of COVID-19 testing in the US has led authorities to rethink plans to create safe travel corridors between the US and international destinations.
People traveling these designated routes will have mandatory coronavirus tests before their flight and after arriving in cities, allowing them to skip long quarantine periods.
US and UK officials hope to open a safe travel corridor between NYC and London by the holidays. A passenger has their temperature checked at London's Heathrow Airport in July
Currently, Americans must quarantine for 14 days when traveling to the UK and most of the time they are unable to travel to EU countries.
The US has now banned travelers from Europe unless they are American citizens or permanent residents of the states.
According to the report, the Trump administration – including those of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security – and foreign governments must approve the plan.
A Homeland Security official told the newspaper that the agency was in the early stages of its work to "promote transatlantic travel safely while reducing public health risks."
Meanwhile, people familiar with the subject said the White House National Security Council had already approved plans to further develop the travel corridor. The council spokesman did not comment on the matter.
Plans to open the safe travel corridor would include mandatory coronavirus testing prior to flight and upon arrival. Travelers are seen at Heathrow Airport in August
The idea of a safe travel corridor would allow passengers to spend less time in quarantine times at their destinations. Passengers are seen at a TSA checkpoint at NYC JFK Airport in March
The transportation department spokesman said agency officials were in talks with international and industrial colleagues. The agency is also expected to support the travel corridor efforts.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said a task force has been set up to investigate the possible role of airport testing.
The US authorities not only focused on a "travel corridor" with Great Britain, but were also in talks with German officials.
One thing that should stand in the way of talks about easing travel restrictions with foreign leaders is the fact that the US continues to have high levels of coronavirus infection.
In both the US and the UK, the infection rate has increased in recent weeks.
It's unclear whether officials intend to open the U.S.-U.K. travel corridor plans by Thanksgiving, or if it's more like they're in the December vacation.