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Published on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Florida tourism fears as Biden mulls domestic travel ban






The Biden administration is weighing up domestic travel restrictions, with Florida possibly singled out for an interstate travel ban.


Officials are trying to stamp out the spread of new more contagious variants which now make up about 15% of all new cases.


The UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, is especially rampant in the Sunshine State.


More than one third of all US cases of the variant are in Florida.


That makes Florida most likely to have travel curbs imposed.


"There are active conversations about what could help mitigate spread here, but we have to follow the data and what's going to work. We did this with South Africa, we did this with Brazil, because we got clear guidance," a White House official said.


"We're having conversations about anything that would help mitigate spread. No decisions have been made, but we certainly are having conversations across government."


The possible alternative to an outright travel ban across state lines is a pre-flight testing program for all domestic flights.


This has understandably attracted strong opposition from airlines and tourism trade groups.


"We have concerns around the idea of a domestic testing requirement, because not only would it require a 42% increase in the testing capacity nationwide, but it's really not scalable, feasible or effective," said Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP of Public Affairs at the U.S. Travel Association.


Talk of a travel ban for Florida has unsurprisingly been met with strong opposition within travel and tourism as well as republican state lawmakers.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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