On Monday, the United States will reopen its borders to double-jabbed foreign travelers, lifting a 20-month admission prohibition. Former President Donald Trump enforced the restriction and it affected jobs during Covid-19
It has impacted non-US citizens from over 30 nations, including the United Kingdom and European Union member states, dividing families and halting tourism jobs.
Airlines anticipate a surge in visitors once restrictions are relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated and have undergone testing and contact tracing.
“It feels good, it feels good!” Jerome Thomann, head of Paris-based travel agency Jetset Voyages told Reuters news agency, saying his team had seen an “incredible upturn” in bookings.
To combat the spread of coronavirus, US borders were first blocked by Chinese travelers in early 2020. Other countries were then subjected to the limitations. Most non-US citizens who had been in the UK and several other European nations and China, India, South Africa, Iran, and Brazil were denied admission.
Foreign tourists must produce proof of vaccination before traveling, obtain a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of their trip, and provide their contact information under the new guidelines. They will not be required to quarantine. “It’s been so hard – I just want to see my son,” Alison Henry, a 63-year-old British mother, told AFP.
Ms. Henry of Cheshire is flying to New York on Monday to visit her son for the first time in 20 months. For those who have been properly vaccinated, the US’s land borders with neighbors Canada and Mexico will likewise reopen.
Thousands of migrants have arrived along Mexico’s border with the United States, trying to take advantage of the new laws. A new caravan of thousands of primarily Central American migrants, many of whom are children, has crossed from Chiapas to Oaxaca state in southern Mexico, with the ultimate goal of reaching the border and being allowed into the United States.
The Migrant Alliance Group, a Mexico-based advocacy group, has cautioned that misleading information about the new restrictions is being shared in some communities. Many asylum seekers expect that they will now be treated more favorably by border agents.
Businesses along America’s border with Mexico are expecting a boost after struggling under Covid-imposed restrictions. United Airlines jobs forecast a 50% increase in international inbound passengers, while Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian has cautioned tourists to expect long lineups.
Mr. Bastian said: “It’s going to be a bit sloppy at first. I can assure you; there will be lines, unfortunately.” The EU recommended allowing American travelers into the bloc in June, while visitors from the US have traveled to the UK since 28 July.