ABTA has welcomed the lifting of the US ban on double-jabbed UK travellers from November, hailing the move “great news for holidaymakers”.
The White House has announced an easing of restrictions for passengers from UK and most European Union countries that has been in place since March last year.
The travel restrictions were lifted after lobbying from Brussels and London.
From early November, Brits visiting the US will need to show full proof of vaccination before boarding a flight, and provide proof of a negative Covid test taken within three days of departure. Children not yet eligible to be vaccinated will be exempt from the rules.
Fully-vaccinated visitors will not need to quarantine on arrival.
Grant Shapps said: “I’m delighted I can confirm vaccinated Brits can travel into the US from early November, recriprocating policy we introduced in the summer.”
He added: “The past 18 months hugely frustrating for anyone wanting to travel abroad. In 2020, our only weapon we had to fight spread of covid was to keep people apart. However, this year we’ve seen significant progress.”
A spokesperson for Clia said: “Clia joins our peers across the travel and tourism sector to express our appreciation to the Biden Administration for recognising the importance of international travel to the US economy and for establishing a path for international visitors to travel to the United States responsibly. The cruise industry is an important driver of international visits to the United States, prompting approximately 2.5 million international visitors to travel to the United States to embark on a cruise in 2019, representing nearly 18 percent of all US cruise embarkations.
“International cruise visitors in the United States spend $4.5 billion annually on hotel stays, transportation, retail and other US businesses, supporting nearly 60,000 American jobs. Our members look forward to welcoming international travellers, including from the United Kingdom and the European Union, back to the United States while continuing to prioritise public health.”
ABTA hailed the move as “great news for holidaymakers, business travellers and those who have been separated from friends and family for so long”.
A spokesperson added: “The USA is by far our most popular long-haul destination and in a normal year attracts almost five million visitors from the UK.
“The announcement will come in time to allow people to, among other things, take the ever-popular Christmas shopping trips to New York and is a very welcome boost for the winter sports market whose customers love the country’s high quality ski resorts.”
Boris Johnson hailed the news: “a fantastic boost for business and trade”.