A Flood Of Visitors After A Long Haul


  • The travel limitations have affected non-US citizens from over 30 countries, including the UK and EU, separating families and stalling tourism.
  • Travellers arriving at John F Kennedy airport were greeted by applause, balloons and cookies.
  • Alison Henry, a 63-year-old British mother, told the AFP news agency: “It’s been so hard – I just want to see my son.”
  • “I can assure you, there will be lines, unfortunately,” said Ed Bastian.

The first foreign travellers have arrived at US airports, eager to reunite with family and loved ones after a 20-month Covid-19 travel ban as reported by BBC.

Borders reopen

The United States reopened its borders to tourists with double-jabbed passports on Monday, lifting restrictions set by former President Donald Trump in March 2020.

Non-US citizens from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, have been affected by the travel restrictions, which have split families and slowed tourism.

According to the Reuters news agency, Jerome Thomann, the CEO of the Paris-based travel service Jetset Voyages, his staff has experienced an “amazing upturn” in bookings.

For people who have been fully vaccinated and have undergone testing and contact tracing, restrictions have been relaxed.

Two flights from London’s Heathrow airport landed in New York City, resuming one of the busiest airline routes in the world.

Warm greetings

Applause, balloons, and cookies greeted passengers as they arrived at John F Kennedy International Airport.

New York City launched an intensive advertising campaign last month to attract more foreign visitors and help the city’s economy recover.

Most non-US citizens who had visited the UK and several other European nations, as well as China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil, were denied entrance.

Foreign travellers will be required to produce proof of vaccination before travelling, obtain a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of flight, and provide their contact information under the new guidelines.

Families reunite

“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.

Ms Henry, from Cheshire, is flying to New York on Monday for the first time in 20 months to meet 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.

Warnings of misleading information

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 restrictions, businesses in areas along the border with Mexico are hoping for a lift.

Mr Bastian explained: “It’ll be a little sloppy at first.

Unfortunately, I can promise you that there will be lines.”

In June, the EU advised allowing American travellers into the bloc, while visitors from the United States have been free to go to the United Kingdom since July 28.

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Source: BBC


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