On Monday, November 8, 2021, flights from Europe, the U.K. and several other countries landed in the major airports across the nation. The U.S. has opened its borders through land and air, which were closed from March 2020, to international travelers from many countries. There are a few conditions to be met by them but many including the travelers themselves, airlines, the hospitality industry are heaving a sigh of relief as people and the economy suffered due to the travel ban.
Earlier, those who entered the nation were American citizens, green card holders or people who got national interest exemptions from the ban. Now, travelers, who are fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test from anywhere around the world, can visit the nation.
The U.S. has also provided vaccination exemptions for a few categories that include
kids under 18 with a negative COVID-19 test if they are above the age of 2
people with national interest exemptions
people in COVID-19 vaccine trials
people with medical exemptions
people from a small number of countries whose vaccine rate is less than 10 percent.
The US Travel Association said that the pandemic caused a loss of $300 billion in tourism revenue. Airlines have increased the number of flights to 50 percent of what it was during pre-pandemic times times and expect to increase the numbers much higher as there is a pent up demand. Airports such as Heathrow in London and JFK in New York City warmly welcomed tourists, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Land borders between the U.S. and Canada and the U.S. and Mexico have also been opened. There are huge queues at the border as thousands of Mexicans who were separated from families in the U.S. are waiting to cross over. There is also a huge backlog of cars and RVs across the Rainbow Bridge. Thousands of Canadians are expected to cross over from Niagara in Ontario to Buffalo, in New York state. There is cheer and a huge sense of optimism as travelers can finally reach the U.S. for several reasons including reunification with families, some much needed R&R after a long stretched pandemic and perhaps new business deals.