The U.S. reopens its borders after 19 months


Vaccinated travelers are now able to enter the country.

For over a year and a half, the U.S. has had its doors closed to foreign travelers from 33 countries. In Oct. 2021, U.S. officials announced that they would reopen their borders, including overseas and land borders.

    After the announcement, bookings to the U.S. increased by 600 percent, according to figures provided by Virgin Atlantic. As stated by NBC News, “Bookings went up again by nearly 50 percent compared to the week before after the confirmation of the reopening date Oct. 15.”

    While some were always able to come into the country, others have been waiting a long time.  “U.S. citizens and permanent residents have always been allowed to enter. However, the travel restrictions meant that tourists, business travelers, and family members were prevented from entering,” according to NBC News. 

    On Nov. 8, the plan went into effect. Many were brought to tears as they were reunited with their family and friends for a length of time that was seemingly unending. As claimed by NBC News, “Loved ones kept apart for more than a year and a half were reunited [on Nov. 8] with tears, kisses and “welcome back” signs at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.”

    It seems that everyone was excited for such a special moment. After the first flight from the U.K. landed, British Airways employees lined up to clap as travelers from the United Kingdom exited customs and made their way out of the terminal,” as stated by NBC News. 

    In order to enter the US, visitors are required to have proof of vaccination, and those over the age of two must have a negative COVID-19 test within the past three days. However, those travelling “from Mexico or Canada will require proof of vaccination but no test,” as reported by NBC News.

    The prolonged U.S. border restrictions had an emotional cost for those with family across the border, but now they can feel relief as they are reconnected in person. This seems like a positive step towards the future.