HealthDay News — For the first time in more than 18 months, fully vaccinated travelers from dozens of other countries can enter the United States.
Visitors will need to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of travel. Unvaccinated Americans and children under the age of 18 are exempt from the requirement, but must take a test within one day of travel, The New York Times reported. The extended ban on travel had applied to 33 countries, including European Union members, China, India and Iran.
“Monday begins in earnest the return of international travel, when long-separated families and friends can safely reunite, travelers can explore this amazing country, and the U.S. is able to reconnect with the global community,” said Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association, The Times reported. “It is a monumental day for travelers, for the communities and businesses that rely on international visitation, and for the U.S. economy overall.”
Airlines reported big jumps in online searches and ticket bookings for international travel — particularly from Europe and Latin America — shortly after the Biden administration announced its plans to ease the travel restrictions in September.
The reopening comes just in time for the holiday season, when the battered tourism industry hopes for an influx in international visitors, especially in big-city destinations like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The extended ban triggered losses of nearly $300 billion in visitor spending and more than 1 million American jobs, according to the travel association.