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British PM Johnson keen for U.S. travellers as hopes rise for easing restrictions

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wants U.S. citizens to come to England “freely” and he was talking to the United States about a travel corridor, LBC radio reported on Wednesday.

Britain has stuck to strict COVID-19 travel rules which airline bosses have blamed for the country falling behind the European Union in attracting tourists. The EU has opened up more quickly despite a slower vaccination programme.

But that looks set to change. Johnson’s comments to LBC follow multiple reports that he is set to exempt double-vaccinated visitors from the EU and the United States from quarantine in the coming days.

LBC quoted Johnson as saying that he wanted U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated to come to Britain as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want people to be able to come from the U.S. freely in a way that they normally do. We’re talking to them the whole time,” LBC reported Johnson as saying in an interview.

“At the moment we’re dealing with a Delta wave, the U.S. is dealing with a Delta wave, but be assured that we are on it the whole time. As soon as we have something to say about travel corridors you’ll be hearing from us.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, writing by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton and William Schomberg)

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