After a 20-month restriction in Europe or neighboring Mexico and Canada, the countdown began Monday to reopen the United States’ land and air borders for travelers vaccinated against COVID-19.
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Separated families, disrupted business relationships, and professional ambitions were thwarted: a “travel ban” imposed by Donald Trump in early 2020, and then confirmed by his successor, Joe Biden, which became widely criticized and a symbol of the uprisings caused by the pandemic.
In order to protect the countries most affected by COVID-19, Donald Trump imposed travel restrictions on travel from China in February 2020. Then, on March 13, came the European part of the Schengen area. Great Britain and Ireland followed a few days later, with most of the land borders with Mexico and Canada closed.
With all these countries, the density of human and economic exchange is enormous.
“It’s very difficult,” “I want to see my son,” said 63 – year – old Britain’s Allison Henry on her way home from New York on Monday.
Many families on both sides of the Atlantic are eagerly awaiting this reunion. Traveling to Europe from the United States since last summer has certainly been possible, but there is no guarantee that foreigners and holders of certain visas living on American soil will return home.
To cope with the influx of demands, airlines have increased the number of Atlantic flights. They use larger aircraft because the lifting of these restrictions represents fresh air for the sector that is mired in the pandemic crisis.
Along the enormous Mexican border, many American cities in Texas or California have suffered financially due to this trade restriction.
“The pandemic has affected everyone and we are waiting for our people to come and visit us,” Marcos Rivera, owner of a clothing store in El Paso, Texas, told AFP.
Sunny Butler, owner of an affiliate store in Texas, demonstrated her infidelity. “It’s been almost two years, have you seen? So when it opens on Monday, I’ll see and really believe,” she said.
More narratively, in the north of the continent, wealthy Canadian retirees can undertake their annual change in car on the delicacies of Florida and its climate during the first winter.
Vaccination and testing
More than thirty countries have been affected by the lifting of the “travel ban”. But admission is not completely free and US authorities are expected to monitor the vaccine status of travelers, while at the same time they continue to demand negative COVID-19 tests.
For passengers arriving by air, the United States requests that the airline set up a contact tracking system from Monday, along with proof of vaccination and testing within three days before departure.
For the overland route, the restrictions will be lifted in two stages.
From Monday, people arriving for unwanted reasons, for example family or tourism, will be able to cross the Canada or Mexico border if they are vaccinated. People who come with compelling reasons – for example truck drivers – will be an exception.
But from January, the vaccination obligation applies to all visitors who cross land borders, regardless of the reason for their entry.
U.S. health officials have indicated that all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be approved.
Currently, according to the WHO Emergency Process, these are the Estrogenaca, Johnson & Johnson, Modernna, Pfizer-Bioentech, Indian Kovacin, Sinoform and Sinovac vaccines. These two Chinese vaccines make it possible to cross the United States border.
U.S. officials have not yet commented on the rising number of cases in Europe, where the WHO is once again alerted to the “very alarming” transmission rate of COVID-19, which could kill half a million people. Continent by February.
This fourth “massive” wave hit specific Germany, with the Biden administration looking specifically at its relationship.
Vivek Murthy, the chief medical officer of the United States, said on Sunday he was “carefully optimistic” on the ABC channel about the evolution of the pandemic in the United States.
One thing is for sure, Elizabeth Jorz, a 51-year-old administrative manager living in Berlin, who has been frustrated for months, has not stopped going to the United States and finally seeing her favorite group: the Rolling Stones.
“I have tickets to four concerts, first in Atlanta, then in Detroit, Austin and Hollywood, Florida,” Ms. Zours said the news was announced as soon as the border reopened.