This Monday the US lifted restrictions on travel from a long list of countries which will allow tourists to make long-delayed trips and reconnect with their family members living in the states, more than a year and a half since the pandemic began. Some of the countries included on the list are Mexico, Canada, and most of Europe.
The US is now accepting fully vaccinated travelers at airports and land borders, fully removing all Covid-19 restrictions initially imposed during the last presidential administration.
The new guidelines allow air travel from previously restricted countries as long as the individual has proof of vaccination in addition to a negative Covid test. If an individual is traveling into the US by land, from Mexico or Canada, they’ll just need proof of vaccination, but no negative test.
Airlines in general are preparing for an influx of travelers from Europe specifically as well. Data from Cirium, a travel and analytics firm, shows that airlines are increasing flights between the United Kingdom and the US by 21% this month.
The new guidelines will also likely impact the Mexico-US and Canada-US borders tremendously, as traveling back and forth between all three countries was a normalized means of travel pre-pandemic.
These new guidelines will also ideally help improve local and state economies on the border. Malls, restaurants, and retail establishments in general have been devastated economically by the lack of visitors from Mexico and Canada.
There’s also a lot of personal motivation from Americans that have motivated officials to reopen the borders. So many families in the US were forced to stay away from their families due to pandemic restrictions and how far away they live.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S. That means that the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.”
Airlines will require air travelers to verify their vaccine records and match them against their ID, and if they don’t, they could face up to nearly $35,000 in fines for every violation. Airlines will also be collecting information about passengers for contact tracing purposes.
CDC workers will be spot-checking travelers for compliance in the US as well. At land borders, Customs and Border Protection agents will be checking proof of vaccines, to ensure everyone’s information is legitimate.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.