Vacationers hoping to make the transatlantic trip to the US from Ireland may be checking out bags within weeks.
Ireland is among the countries from which travel to America is currently restricted under rules that were introduced at the start of the pandemic.
The travel ban imposed on certain countries in March 2020 is still in effect, with no specific date set for when this ban will be lifted.
However, according to industry expert Eoghan Corry, a timetable is currently being set for reopening US borders to embargoed countries.
Regions still subject to these restrictions include Ireland, the United Kingdom, the European Schengen Area, China, India, Iran, Brazil and South Africa.
This means that people who were in these countries two weeks prior to travel will not be allowed to land on US soil.
While Mr Corey said no one was clear about when travel to the US would return, he said we were seeing “very strong indications from America that the ban on Irish people from going to America will be lifted on Labor Day”.
This national holiday falls on September 6, which means restrictions on Irish tourists can be eased in just over two weeks.
Curry told the Irish Mirror: “We need to have some things going right for that to happen because it looked like it was going to be lifted in July and brought back.
“But the last date, which is the important date, is September 6.
Another important date is October 11th when Aer Lingus service is scheduled to resume in San Francisco.
“Aer Lingus reduced its activity in Chicago, Boston and New York during the crisis and then resumed Washington on August 13, so the next step to resume is San Francisco.
“It’s not like we had before, it’s creep, creep, creep in that direction, and the big decision will be for Americans to let people who are only Irish passport holders and don’t have green cards or anything else.”
Cory, editor of Air and Travel magazine, said he was “surprised” that the ban had not yet been lifted.
Currently, only citizens, lawful permanent residents of the United States, certain family members, and other people who meet specific exceptions are allowed to enter the states.
However, US tourists are already welcome in Ireland, as are countries such as Italy, Spain and France, after the European Council added the US to its list of Covid-19-safe countries on June 18.
This means that people can come from the US for holidays in the EU, regardless of their vaccination status, when the opposite scenario is not allowed, even for fully vaccinated Europeans.
Currie added that reciprocity has “collapsed” to some extent because the United States is happy that we welcome American tourists, all while the opposite arrangement is not allowed.
As for other long-haul flights returning to destinations like Australia and New Zealand, the travel expert says it will take a little longer to get back on these routes from Ireland.
“We’re going to see a little bit of a backlog for Australia and New Zealand because of the number of disruptions, there’s a huge number of Australians and New Zealanders who have been stranded for two years now,” Corey said.
“We’re not sure how long it will take for families there to reconnect.
“The prices can be very high because of the caps there at the moment, but once those caps are removed I imagine we will see a huge amount of international travel and a lot of people moving very quickly.
“You see signs like Emirates is back [this week]It’s down to three per week and then four per week, but they’re coming back daily from October 5th, so that’s a good sign.”
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