In late July, the Biden Administration said it had no intention of lifting existing travel restrictions due to the growing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. APEX has written a letter to President Joe Biden to lobby the US to open its doors to Europe.
Senior figures at APEX have written to US President Joe Biden to propose a “staged reopening of the United States for vaccinated international travelers beginning with Europe, effective immediately.”
The letter, which is signed by APEX’s CEO, Dr. Joe Leader; COO, Russ Lumieux; Executive Director, Lauren Costello; and US Policy Directory, Michael Taylor, references scientific facts shared by the Biden administration to support its proposal.
These include that “every European country currently blocked by the US has significantly lower COVID-19 infection rates” than the United States. Furthermore, the letter cites the US Centers for Disease Control guidance that “people who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States.”
It adds that opening the doors to the US, which has now vaccinated 70% of adults, to fully vaccinated individuals from Europe “only strengthens [the] administration’s message: Vaccination provides all of us more freedom.”
However, APEX does support additional testing measures for vaccinated travelers as a requirement for entry.
The correspondence mentions that the US must act quickly, or face the possibility of the European Union closing its doors to US travelers, after President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said last week in Brussels that the issue of the US not reciprocating by lifting its own travel restrictions “must not frag on for weeks.”
Finally, it recounts instances of divided families shared with the association, from “a hopeful mother from France that flew to the US in February 2020 for IVF, but [whose] healthy embryo has awaited implementation since March 2020,” to “a European grandmother that cannot meet her only grandchild born during the pandemic.”
“We implore you to use your power as President to immediately enable Europe as a test of your administration’s proposed vaccinated international travel program for foreign nationals. Our airlines are ready, our European travelers are ready,” the letter concludes.