President Joe Biden announced on Monday that the US will not impose more travel restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus omicron strain, sending airline stocks higher.
After numerous nations reported cases of the omicron variety and imposed fresh travel restrictions, airline and aerospace stocks plummeted on Friday. The United States said on Monday that travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi will be temporarily barred from entering the country.
At a press conference on Monday, Biden stated that the extent of the variant’s spread will decide if greater travel restrictions are required.
“At this moment, I don’t expect that,” he remarked. Lockdowns, according to the president, aren’t essential.
The new limits come three weeks after the US dropped draconian pandemic travel restrictions that barred foreign tourists from the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, South Africa, and nearly 30 other countries from entering the US.
Bookings soared when the administration established a timetable to eliminate the rules, which had been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.
Omicron instances have been reported from Israel to Hong Kong and Canada. Israel and Japan have enacted some of the toughest travel restrictions, barring foreign visitors for a limited time.
After immunizations were widely disrupted and cities lifted pandemic restrictions, domestic travel has soared this year. Thanksgiving week had among of the busiest days for US airlines since February 2020.
Long-haul international travel is a major source of revenue for large network carriers. Executives have expressed optimism about the reintroduction of trans-Atlantic flights in 2022, but more travel restrictions might impede that segment’s revival.
United Airlines rose 0.7 percent, reversing previous gains following Biden’s remarks. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both concluded the day with losses of less than 0.1 percent.
Spirit gained 3.3 percent, and Sun Country gained 2.9 percent, as discount airlines that do not offer trans-Atlantic or other long-haul international service increased.
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