By Ryan Noel
Boston University News Service
The United States recently reopened its borders to 30 countries that were part of a COVID-19-related travel ban, more than one year and a half since the pandemic put a halt on international travel.
Airports were flooded with travelers and additional flights were scheduled by the time the ban ended on Nov. 8, as international travel resumed to countries including Brazil, China, India, and the United Kingdom.
The ban was first enacted by the Trump administration back in March of 2020 and then expanded after President Joe Biden took office.
With the end of the travel ban, international travelers must be fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and provide a negative COVID-19 test before flying to the U.S. People aged 18 and younger do not need to be vaccinated but must receive a negative test three days before departure. Children under two do not need a negative test.
Airlines must also match the travelers ID to their vaccination records to verify the information. Airlines who do not follow these guidelines could face fines up to nearly $35,000 per violation.
Prior to Nov. 8, only essential international flyers were granted access into the U.S. Those already in the states were able to leave and return during this time.
“There is no need as of today for foreign national travelers who have been in one of the 33 countries with restrictions to obtain national interest exceptions in order to travel to the United States,” said Edward Price, spokesperson for the United States Department of State.
Unvaccinated Americans who plan on traveling internationally need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel. Those who are vaccinated need to take a test within three days of departure.
Airlines will increase their flights as more flyers will finally be able to reconnect with their families and friends. Land border travel with Canada and Mexico also resumed on Nov. 8. In this case, travelers are only required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival.