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U.S. Travel Association reports progress on restarting international travel

The head of the U.S. Travel Association, which has for months been pushing the Biden administration to move more quickly to reopen international travel, said Thursday that the group has held some productive meetings and hopes to have an agreement by July.

Roger Dow, CEO of U.S. Travel, said during a virtual press conference that the group and leading travel CEOs have met recently with Jeff Zients, who heads the White House's Covid task force, as well as Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who he said has been "extraordinarily helpful and engaged in this area."

"So we're beginning to get some traction, but it is such a high priority that it has to happen," he said. " Our hope is toward the end of this month to get an agreement to move forward and to get some announcement [of] what we're asking for in July."

In a letter this week to President Biden, the group and other travel leaders reiterated their call for the establishment of a public-private task force to develop a risk-based, data-driven road map for safely reopening international travel to the U.S.

They said reopening efforts should start by pursuing a "public health corridor" between the U.S. and the U.K.

"We think that once we get that corridor open, others will follow around Europe," Dow said.

Tori Emerson Barnes, the group's executive vice president for public affairs and public policy, said the group is also pushing to get Canada on the immediate reentry list.

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