The United States lifted travel restrictions on Monday from a long list of countries including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe, allowing tourists to make long-delayed trips and family members to reconnect with loved ones after more than a year and a half apart because of the pandemic, according to AP News.
Starting Monday, the US is accepting fully vaccinated travelers at airports and land borders, doing away with a COVID-19 restriction that dates back to the Trump administration.
The new rules allow air travel from previously restricted countries as long as the traveler has proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.
Airlines are expecting more travelers from Europe and elsewhere. Data from travel and analytics firm Cirium showed airlines are increasing flights between the United Kingdom and the US by 21% this month over last month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S.
For air travelers, the airlines are required to verify vaccine records and match them against ID, and if they don’t, they could face fines of up to nearly $35,000 per violation.
The moves come as the U.S. has seen its COVID-19 outlook improve dramatically in recent weeks since the summer delta surge that pushed hospitals to the brink in many locations.