US President Joe Biden has stated the United States will review its travel restrictions on European tourists, including those from Ireland, in the coming days.
President Biden said conversations are underway with his COVID team "of how soon we can lift the ban" on most noncitizens entering the US from Europe, including the Republic of Ireland.
"And I’ll be able to answer that question to you within the next several days," Biden said, "I’m waiting to hear from our folks in our COVID team as to when that should be done."
The question on the European travel ban was put to the President towards the end of a press briefing alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Thursday.
A ban on most noncitizens entering the US from the Republic of Ireland, as well as many other nations, has been in effect in the US since March 2020 when the pandemic began to take hold.
However, most European countries have now relaxed restrictions for American tourists traveling to Europe and had hoped that the US would reciprocate.
According to Reuters, numerous countries that are currently not banned from entering the US have far higher infection rates than the ones that are currently subject to the US travel ban, such as Ireland and the UK.
A White House official told Reuters last week that "there are further discussions to be had before we can announce any next steps on travel reopening with any country.
"We want to ensure that we move deliberately and are in a position to sustainably reopen international travel when it is safe to do so."
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also wants airlines to introduce international passenger contact tracing as part of any plans to lift travel restrictions.
Reuters reports that airlines and some government officials do not expect travel restrictions to be lifted until August at the earliest.
Meanwhile, from Monday, July 19, fully vaccinated US tourists traveling to the Republic of Ireland will not need to provide proof of a negative PCR test and will not be required to quarantine, a major scaling back on entry requirements.
However, any passenger traveling from the US without valid proof of vaccine must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival in Ireland, self-quarantine, and undergo post-arrival testing.
All people arriving in the Republic of Ireland - regardless of origination or vaccination status - will continue to be required to complete Passenger Locator Forms.
Travel advice can be found on the Irish Government website.
Referencing Ireland's upcoming new travel protocol, Ireland's Ambassador to the US Daniel Mulhall said on Friday: "It would be good to see reciprocal moves from the US authorities to allow fully vaccinated Irish visitors to enter the US."
New arrangements for travel from the US to Ireland will apply from July 19th. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine on arrival in Ireland. It would be good to see reciprocal moves from the US authorities to allow fully vaccinated Irish visitors to enter the 🇺🇸👇 https://t.co/d5YWG50JIK— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) July 16, 2021