The U.S. has lifted its travel ban on Nov. 8 allowing vaccinated travelers into the U.S. from other countries. The original travel ban began in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. International travelers who are fully vaccinated will now be allowed into the U.S.
These past 18 months have cost the global travel industry hundreds of billions of dollars. Before the official reopening of the borders, thousands of people flooded the airports in excitement to travel. Whether they were stuck studying abroad, have family in the states or just want to experience the American dream themselves; they were excited to travel.
The lift on the travel ban has come just in time for the holiday season. Families who have been separated by the travel ban can now celebrate together at their place of choosing. This holiday season will feel the most normal it has in a while thanks to the compliance of those taking the right actions getting vaccinated and practicing social distancing throughout the last 18 months.
The New York Times reported that American Airlines sold more tickets for trans-Atlantic flights in the days after the announcement than during a similar period in 2019, a first since the pandemic began. Delta Air Lines said many of its international flights on Monday were fully booked, according to the New York Times.
New York alone suffered a loss of $60 billion in revenue from the absence of tourists in 2020. This made many small businesses suffer and even shut down resulting in the loss of 89,000 jobs in the city.
Of course, New York is only one example of the unemployment and business closings that happened during the pandemic but it was heavily affected by no tourists flooding their streets. There were similar situations occurring along the Mexico and Canadian borders as well.
Not only are all travelers required to be fully vaccinated to enter the country but they must also be able to present a negative COVID-19 test from the last three days.
Now that the travel ban is lifted and more people will be in and out of the country traveling, we must continue to be aware and careful when it comes to potentially spreading the virus. The COVID-19 testing required to enter the states is crucial for keeping COVID-19 cases low. By being vaccinated and following CDC guidelines, international travel will be much safer; rebuilding our economy in a safe and smart way.