Photo by Jolie Gefen ’24
Travelers from countries around the world are now allowed back in America as of Nov. 8. After almost two years of strict pandemic restrictions, travelers are now able to enter the United States.
Although the U.S. ban against travelers from 33 countries has ended, COVID-19 is still a concern. As stated by the Biden administration, this decision came with rules like airlines requiring proof of a negative COVID test as well as proof of vaccination.
“Monday begins in earnest the return of international travel, when long-separated families and friends can safely reunite, travelers can explore this amazing country, and the U.S. is able to reconnect with the global community,” U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow said in a statement. “It is a monumental day for travelers, for the communities and businesses that rely on international visitation and for the U.S. economy overall.”
As the holiday season approaches, families who live across multiple countries anticipate coming back to America, as they can now celebrate together.
“As someone with virtually no family in the U.S., I’m very excited that the border is open,” Elise Eisenberger ’24 said. “Although I am a little scared of the COVID that [traveling] will bring, I am confident in Biden’s restrictions of travel and that they will prevent the worst of an outbreak.”
Many Westport community members believe that this breakthrough in the pandemic’s history will be beneficial in many aspects, such as boosted consumerism and family reunions, while others still worry about the risk of a new variant or surge in cases.
“It’s been two years already,” Derek Amlicke ’23 said. “I feel like at some point we’re gonna need to open it up, and I guess this is a good trial period.”