U.S. officials with the Department of Transportation and Homeland Security are aiming to open up travel between New York and London by the holidays as more COVID-19 tests become available, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The proposal involves shorter traveler quarantine periods, according to WSJ.
The idea, according to an anonymous Homeland Security official quoted by WSJ, is to “safely encourage trans-Atlantic travel while mitigating public-health risks."
Passengers would still have to get tested for COVID-19 before their flights, and then again after arrival. That, according to the officials, should eliminate the need for lengthy 14-day quarantine periods as has been done since the pandemic started.
International travel was stifled almost completely in the pandemic's early stages due to limited U.S. testing and long waits for such tests. U.S. citizens still for the most part cannot travel to the European Union.
Both the President Donald Trump administration and any foreign governments would have to agree on the terms for the deal to work, WSJ reported. German officials have also been in talks with the U.S., in addition to U.K. officials.
The expiration of the U.S. federal aid for airlines on Oct. 1 has only exacerbated waning air travel, and airlines like United Airlines and American Airlines have had to lay off a combined 32,000 workers. Because of that, industry professionals such as Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel have advocated for more stimulus money.
"It makes no sense to me," Fogel said earlier this month. "We need to have a great air business. Why do we want to wreck it?”
The lone sticking point for much of the international negotiations is the still consistently high rate of infection in the U.S. The U.S. had over 56,000 new cases on Thursday (Oct. 8), according to data from Johns Hopkins University, WSJ reported.