The White House is considering lifting travel bans for non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.
The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the coronavirus. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran.
The plan to ease travel restrictions has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision.
Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.
One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits.
Nearly all of Europe still bans most U.S. travelers from visiting, while Britain and Ireland allow American visits but require two-weeks quarantine upon arrival. Brazil allows U.S. travelers.
Some airlines and officials think testing could be the key to widely resuming international travel. The United States has held talks with several countries about the possibility of passenger testing programs.