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Biden, Johnson agrees to open travel between the US and the UK as soon as possible

PLYMOUTH, England – President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try to ease Covid-19 travel restrictions as part of a broad “Atlantic Charter” before this week’s Group of Seven meeting, according to Mr. Johnson’s office.

The Charter, a riff on the historic joint declaration of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 as their vision for a post-World War II democratic world, will be unveiled on Thursday. The meeting will be the first between the leaders of the two nations since Mr. Bid’s choice.

After Thursday’s meeting, Messrs. Biden and Johnson are expected to announce the formation of a task force with the aim of reopening the journey between the United States and Britain as soon as possible.

The pandemic halted the most global journey, also between the two countries. As more people are vaccinated, countries around the world are lifting the restrictions, allowing for business and leisure travel.

In March 2020, then-President Donald Trump prevented most travel to the United States from Britain by non-citizens. In recent months, major airlines have called on the Biden administration to lift the restrictions.

The Covid-1

9 strain known as Delta is in at least 60 countries including the United States and is likely to spread throughout the world. Covid-19 Genomics UK Chairman Dr. Sharon Peacock tells WSJs Betsy McKay at the WSJ Tech Health event.

A White House official said earlier this week that the Biden administration “launched a series of expert working groups with four key partners: Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to determine how best to reopen travel safely.”

The announcement comes as the UK struggles with a new Covid-19 variant that has led to increased cases of the disease in the country. Mr. Biden has warned of the dangers of the variant and is urging young people in the United States to be vaccinated. “It’s the best way to protect yourself and those you love,” he wrote on Twitter this week.

The British government has imposed strict coronavirus rules, including tests and quarantine requirements, ahead of Friday’s G-7 summit with world leaders in Cornwall.

Sir. Biden’s meeting with Mr Johnson comes at the start of an eight-day European tour of three countries, where the US president is expected to proclaim the importance of democratic nations in countering autocracies such as Russia and China.

Since Britain left the European Union, its alliance with the United States has become even more crucial. Tighter ties with the US on trade and security are seen as a price that can fluctuate when Britain withdraws from the EU.

Atlantic Charter is committed, among other things, to reducing barriers to UK technology companies investing in the United States, strengthening cooperation on pandemic preparedness and intelligence sharing.

“The agreements that President Biden and I will make today, rooted in their common values ​​and prospects, will form the basis for a sustainable global recovery. 80 years ago, the US President and the British Prime Minister stood together and promised a better future. “Today we are doing the same thing,” Johnson said in a statement released Wednesday.

After spending decades on the world stage, Mr. Biden has close ties with several prominent European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Not so with Mr. Johnson.

Sir. Johnson had spent time persistently and successfully pulling on the Trump administration, which in turn became vocal support for Brexit. British officials were relieved when Johnson received one of the first phone calls from Mr. Bitten by his choice.

However, Mr Biden is expected to raise the question of whether Britain is following a complex post-Brexit arrangement aimed at maintaining peace in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Johnson, who once wrote a book about Winston Churchill, dislikes using the phrase “special relationship” to describe his country’s alliance with the United States and says it makes Britain look too needy.

Write to Max Colchester at max.colchester@wsj.com and Andrew Restuccia at andrew.restuccia@wsj.com

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Appeared on June 10, 2021, print edition as ‘USA, UK Seek to Open Travel Again.’

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