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Tourists visiting the United States may have been concerned to hear of the government shutdown that has come into effect over the last few days and resulted in the closing down of many non-essential government services to the general public.
For many of the enormous number of visitors that have either booked, or were planning to book, a holiday to the States, this has thrown plans into disarray. However, not all government services have been shut down and many are still operating without problems. So, what does the shutdown mean for visitors? What is closed and what remains open? How long will the shutdown last?
The main disappointment for any tourists visiting the US during this time will be the forced closure of many of the country’s top attractions. All 401 National Parks have been forced to shut, while the iconic Statue Of Liberty, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument all are closed too. This means that anyone hoping to spend time in the National Parks will have to rethink plans and those aiming to do a little sightseeing will have to do it from afar.
However, not all is lost, as most essential services are still operational. This means that all flights in and out of the country, immigration services and air traffic control are all still open for business, getting passengers in and out of the country. Consequently, while not being able to visit the top landmarks may disappoint, visitors will still be able to explore the country and have their holidays.
In terms of thinking about when this period of government inactivity may end, there is limited information. However, on the 17th of October the US will default on its debts if an agreement isn’t made between political factions. This means that a solution has to be found before this debate if the US Government wants to avoid further closures and real political crisis.
For those thinking of booking a holiday in the near future, it may be a good idea to just wait until then for a decision.
In the meantime you can organise annual travel insurance ahead of your big trip.
Date Created: 11/10/2013