US-Mexico border reopens after 20 months of COVID shutdown
Mexico-United States border reopened for non-essential travel on Monday after being closed for 20 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials in the Mexican border city of Tijuana said people feared being stuck in traffic, fearing that they had to travel 3200 km. Did not make the most of the restrictions being lifted at the border.
Tijuana resident Claudia Hernandez said she is set to enter the United States to shop ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Paul Campbell waited nearly two years to be reunited with his German fiancée at Boston’s Logan Airport on Monday after the US lifted travel restrictions imposed in 2020.
“I’m just glad he’s here, I’m happy. Our relationship is still thriving, even though we’re two years apart,” said Campbell, 63, a retired firefighter from Vermont.
A child at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport holds up a signboard that read, “Do I look older?” He was waiting for the first British Airways flight from Heathrow in London. The travel ban was imposed from early 2020.
Access was barred to non-US citizens traveling from 33 countries, including China, India and Europe, and underground entry from Mexico and Canada was also restricted.
While travel continued for residents of other countries and visitors under exceptions. The ban eliminated more than half of visitors sources in the United States in 2019, according to trade group US Travel.
“Today America is open for business. This is our message to the world,” US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters in an interview at an airport in Chicago.
There was a big jump in bookings on Monday due to months of demand. Travelers were only required to show official proof of vaccination and a recent negative viral test.
Travel bookings for the holiday season in the United States are growing rapidly, according to data from airlines and industry.
No major issues were raised at airports in the morning call between airlines and US government officials, although officials have warned about potentially long queues and delays.
Earlier long-term rivals British Airways and Virgin Atlantic had a simultaneous take-off from a parallel runway at Heathrow.