US to end travel ban for vaccinated passengers in November
The US has been operating with a strict travel ban in place since March 2020.
The United States will lift its Covid-19 restrictions for passengers in early November, provided they are fully vaccinated, undergo testing and do contact tracing.
The news was announced by Jeffrey Zients, who is President Joe Biden's coronavirus response coordinator.
The US has been imposing strict travel measures on passengers flying into the country since March 2020. They were initially only imposed on China, before being extended to other countries.
The news of eased travel restrictions was welcomed by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who is currently on a five-day visit to the country.
Mr Martin said: "I had written to President Biden in August saying it was important that two-way travel between Europe and the United States resume.
"I pointed out to him the very high vaccination rates in Ireland right now and that the risk was much lower."
Reporters asked An Taoiseach if he got a response, to which he said: "We haven't got a formal reply yet, but I think today's announcement is as good as it gets."
Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney also welcomed the news, and said it was something the government has been "advocating for a considerable time".
Mr Coveney added: "With 90% of Irish adults now fully vaccinated, I know this will come as very good news for many in Ireland, the Irish living in the United States, as well as our American friends with links to Ireland and the rest of Europe."
Daniel Mulhall, Ireland's Ambassador to the USA, welcomed the announcement for eased travel restrictions.
He said: "This very positive development will bring welcome relief to so many Irish people who have been separated from family for the past 18 months because of the #travelban."