The ban is aimed at limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States and, more recently, at reducing the possibility of importing a variant that was first identified in India that is spreading quickly in the UK.
British ministers are reportedly so frustrated with the ban that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering talking about it personally with President Joe Biden.
The Financial Times said ministers are not, however, confident about an imminent end to the prohibition that has been in place since March 2020.
One unnamed British official told the paper: “The best we are likely to get is something tied to July 4 (a day on which the US celebrates its independence and on which Biden has said it will also mark ‘our independence from this virus’).”
The US travel ban was imposed by then-president Donald Trump in early 2020 and was aimed at preventing non-US citizens entering the country from China, Iran, Brazil, the Schengen travel zone of Europe, or the UK.
Biden has since added India to the list of restricted nations and areas.
Johnson and Biden are slated to next speak in around a week, ahead of a G7 climate summit in Cornwall, England, and the prime minister is likely to say the UK’s effective vaccination program, alongside reliable testing and low rates of infection and death, make the ban unnecessary.
Ironically, several nations have been lobbying for a similar relaxation of the UK’s prohibitions on travel to other nations, which was reviewed on Thursday.
The UK has categorized other countries and areas into either a green list, an amber listing, or a red one, according to the level of virus-related risk associated with traveling there.
The Labour Party, which is currently the official opposition in the UK, said on Thursday the so-called traffic light system is not fit for purpose.
Labour said it would like to see the amber list scrapped completely “because of the huge confusion it is creating and the huge number of travelers coming through our airports”.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, the party’s shadow home secretary, said on Radio 4’s Today program he would like to see a “small green list” and amber-list nations added to the red list.
He also called for a “comprehensive hotel quarantine system”.
Ahead of a meeting of his Cabinet on Thursday to discuss the latest changes to the listings, Johnson said the government would follow the advice of its Joint Biosecurity Centre.
“We’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary,” the BBC quoted him as saying. “I want you to know we will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list, to the red list, if we have to do so. The priority is to continue the vaccine rollout to protect the people of this country.”