(Adds background, comments)
Feb 3 U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has
informed U.S. airlines that they can once again board travelers
who had been barred by an executive order last week, after it
was blocked nationwide on Friday by a federal judge in Seattle,
an airline official told Reuters.
In a conference call at around 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT), the
U.S. agency told airlines to operate just as they had before the
order, which temporarily had stopped refugees and nationals from
seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Individuals from those states who have proper visas can now
board U.S.-bound flights, and airlines are working to update
their websites to reflect the change, said the official, who was
not authorized to speak publicly.
The judge's temporary restraining order represents a major
challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump's action, although his
administration could still appeal the ruling and have the policy
Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, made his
ruling effective immediately on Friday, suggesting that travel
restrictions could be lifted straight away. He is expected to
issue a full written ruling over the weekend.
CBP and Washington-based trade group Airlines for America
did not immediately comment.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by