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November 9, 2021updated 24 Nov 2021 5:16am

US lifts international travel restrictions after 600 days

International travellers can now fly into the US with proof of full Covid-19 vaccination.

The US has completely reopened its borders for many vaccinated international travellers, ending the pandemic-induced travel ban that lasted around 18 months.

Introduced in early 2020, these measures prohibited travellers from nearly 33 nations from entering the country.

Some of these countries were China, Brazil, South Africa, and the UK, as well as several countries in Europe.

With the ban lifted, international travellers can now enter the US with proof of full Covid-19 vaccination. However, a few exemptions have been introduced for passengers from nations with low vaccination availability and travellers under 18 years old.

Starting early this year, European nations began easing rules for international passengers, including US citizens.

Despite being urged by airlines and other travel industry firms on both sides of the Atlantic, the US did not reopen its borders during this period.

Since the announcement of the lifted travel restrictions, airlines operating in the US have witnessed an increase in bookings.

Over the last week, American Airlines’ bookings, mostly for flights in the fourth quarter, from Brazil and the UK increased by around 70%.

American and British Airways are also increasing their London services, with the expectation to reach a pre-pandemic schedule by early next year.

Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington said: “Today marks yet another positive milestone along our path to recovery. International travellers contribute to the diversity of our airport environment and the wider community, and we are pleased to welcome them back.”

In another recent development, Australia also removed its 18-month long international border restrictions, enabling vaccinated citizens into the country with a pre-flight Covid-19 test and seven days of home quarantine.

The announcement to lift the travel ban was made by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in September.

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