Mnuchin Says International Travel May Have to Wait Until 2021

PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. (Photo via Flickr/The White House/Andrea Hanks)

During a Fox Business interview earlier today, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, commented on the current outlook for the travel industry, as the United States begins to gradually reopen from its COVID-19 lockdowns. “As the economy opens up, I think you’ll see demand coming back,” he said.

His expressed optimism was, however, only in reference to U.S. domestic travel. Questioned as to whether he thought international travel would resume within the year, Mnuchin said that it’s simply, “Too hard to tell, at this point.”

USA Today pointed out that the U.S. State Department’s Level 4 Travel Advisory, issued back in March and urging all Americans to avoid traveling outside the country, remains in effect. Most other nations’ travel restrictions continue in force and transnational borders remain closed, while options for international flights are also severely limited while the coronavirus pandemic persists.

Mnuchin conceded that we may see some folks venturing outside the country in the course of their jobs: “Obviously, for business people that do need to travel, there will be travel on a limited basis.” But, in terms of leisure travel in the near future, he encouraged Americans to plan their upcoming adventures closer to home.

“This is a great time for people to explore America. A lot of people haven’t seen many parts of America,” Mnuchin said. “I wish I could get back on the road soon.”

“The president’s also looking about ways to stimulate travel. We want people to travel safely, to be able to visit places safely,” Mnuchin remarked. He reiterated that, right now, “Our priority is opening the domestic economy.”

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Travelers interested in going abroad currently don’t have many options given a slew of international travel restrictions, government travel warnings and limited international flights. In late March, the U.S. State Department issued its highest alert level for international travel, telling Americans to avoid all international travel, an advisory that remains in place.

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About Cholo Brooks 12089 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.