Biden and his government have recently come under pressure to ease the strict entry requirements, which many experts within the travel and tourism industry are saying are unnecessary. The current COVID entry requirements have the travel industry and the rest of the US talking - but the US has always had a reputation of having strict borders. It's nothing new. That's especially true for people who plan on staying in the US for longer than 90 days. You best believe the border control will pick your intentions apart and check for any discrepancies in travel plans.
Below, we'll look at why Biden and his party are under pressure and why he has no plans on easing restrictions just yet.
Biden's party under pressure
Google Biden's COVID restrictions, and you'll be inundated with articles that reveal how the travel and tourism industry is putting pressure on Biden and his party to ease restrictions, which recently announced he has no intention of doing so.
The two restrictions that Airlines for America - that accounts for the carriers American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, South West, and United - are campaigning to change are the mandatory pre-flight COVID tests and mask-wearing during flights. Sadly for the industry, Biden said that the rules would continue to be in place until April 18 and beyond. That means that more people will be prevented from traveling or put off entirely due to the strict rules.
The open letter to Biden and his party reached the headlines, but as of yet, it seems no changes to the rules will come into play anytime soon.
The additional entry requirements that restrict travel
Some would say that the US was already tricky to enter. Non-residents of the US have to complete an ESTA visa application or a US visa application if they don't meet the criteria for an esta. On numerous occasions, travelers have arrived at the border only to find they have the wrong visa or what they stated on the visa doesn't match the story they give at the border. The US has a reputation for a harsh border control team that takes no prisoners.
What makes matters worse, the pandemic made it almost impossible to receive acceptance for a visa - a problem that still rings true today. In London, for example, the US embassy still has limited capacity to facilitate visa appointments for those who don't meet the esta requirements.
What that means for the travel and tourism industry
The travel and tourism industry was well within its rights to send a letter to Biden and his party - it's a recovering industry that's still feeling the ripple effects of the pandemic. The request aims to ease the fear of traveling, make it easier for people to book flights to the US, and restore some form of a norm to the travel and tourism industry. Other countries have lifted such restrictions, with mask-wearing on public transport no longer a necessity. Biden, however, is taking a stricter approach to the matter.
Before you think about booking a flight to the US, check out the entry requirements to see what you need to do. Although the COVID restrictions seem harsh if you're fully vaccinated, some of the rules won't apply to you. It's still relatively easy to travel in and out of the US so long as you have the correct visa.