On Monday, the United States will reopen its borders to double-jabbed foreign tourists, lifting a 20-month prohibition. Former President Donald Trump issued the restriction as a result of Covid-19.
It has impacted non-US citizens from more than 30 nations, including the United Kingdom and EU member states, causing family separation and halting tourism.
Airlines are bracing for a surge of visitors when restrictions on people who have been completely vaccinated and have undergone testing and contact tracing are relaxed.
“It feels great, it feels fantastic!” According to the Reuters news agency, Jerome Thomann, the CEO of the Paris-based travel service Jetset Voyages, his staff has experienced a “amazing upturn” in bookings.
In early 2020, US borders were restricted to travelers from China in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Other countries were then subjected to the limitations.
Most non-US citizens who had visited the UK and a number of other European nations, as well as China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil, were denied entrance.
Foreign travelers will be required to produce proof of vaccination before traveling, obtain a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of flight, and provide their contact information under the new guidelines. There will be no need for quarantine.
“It’s been so hard – I just want to see my son,” Alison Henry, a 63-year-old British mother, told the AFP news agency. Henry, from Cheshire, is flying to New York on Monday for the first time in 20 months to visit her son.
For those who have been properly vaccinated, the US land borders with Canada and Mexico will reopen. Thousands of migrants have arrived in places around Mexico’s border with the United States, seeking to benefit from the new restrictions.
A fresh caravan of thousands of mostly Central American migrants has crossed from Chiapas to Oaxaca state in southern Mexico, with the ultimate goal of crossing the border and being allowed into the United States.
The Migrant Alliance Group, a Mexico-based advocacy group, has warned that misleading information about the new restrictions is being shared in some communities, with many asylum seekers believing they will now be treated better by border agents.
After struggling under America’s Covid-induced limitations, businesses along the border with Mexico are hoping for a lift.
United Airlines has predicted a 50% increase in international inbound passengers, while Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian has cautioned travelers to expect long lineups.
According to Bastian: “It’ll be a little messy at first. Unfortunately, I can promise you that there will be lines.”
In June, the EU advised allowing American travelers into the bloc, while visitors from the United States have been free to go to the United Kingdom since July 28.