The United States Department of Homeland Security has announced an extension of the REAL ID full enforcement. The deadline has been pushed 19 months from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.
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European Union to Allow Vaccinated Americans this Summer
All 27 EU member states have agreed to accept vaccinated travelers from the U.S. this summer, but there is no word yet as to when or how this will be accomplished.
On Monday, European Union officials announced that they expect to allow vaccinated travelers from outside the EU to travel to member countries this summer. It will be up to the individual member nations to decide when to relax restrictions, but some European countries have already begun to reopen. Greece, for example, is already open to vaccinated travelers and France could reopen as early as May. Non-EU country, Iceland, has also opened to vaccinated travelers or those who can show proof of having recovered from the virus.
Talks between the EU and the U.S. have been ongoing as to how they will implement vaccination certification procedures for travel, but a temporary process may include issuing an EU certificate upon arrival, after presenting a U.S. vaccination certificate. Vaccination passports may also play a role, although there is much work left to do to develop globally recognized standards for any digital vaccination certificates.
This development has been met with much excitement from the travel industry. National Travel was recently asked by a local West Virginia media outlet to comment on the news.
“Infrastructure has stayed in place, the tour companies are still there, the hotels are ready to do business,” said Ted Lawson, CEO of National Travel.
ASTA President, Zane Kerby, praised the European Union (EU) for their announcement, but urged the U.S. to lift reentry restrictions for U.S. travelers returning from the EU.
“Doing so will help the travel industry make the most of this development while protecting public health and reducing the risk of Americans stranded overseas at their own expense.”
– Zane Kerby, ASTA CEO and President
TSA Mask Mandate Expiring
The mask mandate first announced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in January of this year, is set to expire on May 11th.
New Summer Flights from United
The airline plans to operate their most robust schedule since before the Pandemic, adding more than 480 flights to their U.S. schedule.
Delta Resumes Service to Greece
The airline will be the first to resume service to Athens after the country opens with no quarantine requirement for vaccinated travelers.
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Is Your Passport Valid?
If you plan to travel internationally in 2021, now is a great time to check your passport validity!
As a general rule, passports should be valid for at least 6 months after the intended date of travel, but these rules may also vary depending on your destination.
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