US lifts COVID-19 international travel restrictions
After nearly two years, the United States is back open to international travelers.
The U.S. lifted a pandemic travel ban on foreign visitors for more than 30 countries Monday.
Tourists from places like Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Brazil and China were welcomed in the U.S. for the first time in 18 months. However, travelers need to show a proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.
The European ambassador previously said the travel ban "seriously harms vital economic and human ties at a time when they're most needed."
Under the new rules, inbound non-citizens will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before they fly into the U.S.
They must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to their travel.
New contact tracing rules also were in effect.
There are exemptions, though, to these new requirements. This includes international travelers under the age of 18, as not all countries have yet approved COVID-19 vaccines for children.
Travelers who flew into John F. Kennedy International Airport Monday told News 12 that they had to get tested a lot, but there were no issues with people complying with mask or vaccine mandates.
Americans have been able to travel overseas for a few months with similar restrictions.
Port Authority officials say the move means full flights and long lines at check points.
The United States also opened its land borders with Mexico and Canada.