THE UNITED States is set to finally end its travel ban on EU and UK citizens in the coming months.
From November, anyone from the United Kingdom or European Union-- including Ireland-- will be able to visit friends and family in the United States for the first time since the pandemic began.
However, the travel ban will only be lifted fr those who are fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
For several months, Europe, Ireland and the UK have opened their borders to travellers from the US, but cannot visit there in turn, due to the Biden administration's caution surrounding the ongoing pandemic.
According to BBC News, the White House has confirmed this travel ban will end in November for the fully vaccinated.
The announcement has been welcomed by the public, politicians and airlines, with White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zient stating the new system will be "stronger" as it is "based on individuals rather than a country-based approach".
"Most importantly, foreign nationals flying to the US will be required to be fully vaccinated."
US citizens who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed to return to the US from abroad, but will face stricter testing methods before they can enter the country to stop the spread of any new variant picked up on their travels.
European nationals were allowed into the United States only for exceptional reasons, such as for work-- Taoiseach Micheál Martin is currently visiting New York City, where he has visited the Twin Towers memorial and met Irish-American Governor Kathy Hochul.
Speaking at a press conference with the New York Governor yesterday, the Taoiseach welcomed the lifting of the ban, claiming he had written to Joe Biden last month urging him to do so, pointing out Ireland's extremely high levels of vaccination.
He added that it seemed the world was now entering the "final phase" in terms of Covid-19 restrictions and the return to normality.