US reopens borders after 20 months of restrictions on Monday (8)

US reopens borders after 20 months of restrictions on Monday (8)

The United States prepares to reopen its land and air borders to travelers Vaccination against covid-19 This Monday (8) ended 20 months of severe sanctions criticized by Europe and neighboring Mexico and Canada.

Separated families, broken business relationships, frustrated career ambitions: The “travel ban” imposed in early 2020 by then-President Donald Trump, and later ratified by his successor Joe Biden, has stymied the upheaval caused by the pandemic. – The turmoil has increased.

To avoid contact between Americans and citizens of countries most affected by COVID-19, Trump banned travel from China in early February 2020.

Then, on 13 March, it extended the sanctions to European countries belonging to the Schengen area.

The United Kingdom and Ireland entered the sanctions list a few days later, when land borders with Mexico and Canada were practically closed.

With all these countries, the density of human and economic exchanges is very high.

Britain’s Alison Henry, 63, who will travel to visit her son in New York on Monday (8) after a 20-month separation, told AFP: “It was very difficult. I just want to see my son.” “

Until last summer, it was possible to travel from the United States to Europe, but foreigners who had established themselves in the United States and held certain visas were not guaranteed to be able to return home.

To meet the projected increase in demand, airlines have increased the number of transatlantic flights and the size of aircraft.

In a crisis due to the pandemic, the lifting of restrictions also represents a relief for the aviation sector.

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Also along the vast Mexican border, countless American cities in Texas or California have suffered a severe economic blow and are eagerly waiting for normalcy to return.

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For example, wealthy Canadian retirees can now fearlessly start their annual car trip to Florida and its climate delights, just in time for the first frost.

Vaccinations and Testing

More than 30 countries will be involved in lifting this “travel ban”.

For passengers arriving by plane, the United States will request, starting Monday, the installation by airlines of a contact-tracking system, three days before departure, in addition to vaccination certificates and those testing negative for Covid.

The restrictions for the land route will be removed in two phases.

As of Monday, people who come to the country for reasons considered non-essential, such as family or tourism, will be able to cross the borders of Canada or Mexico, as long as they are vaccinated.

Passengers who do so for compelling reasons – for example, truck drivers – will be free to comply with this requirement.

But from January onwards, the vaccination requirement will apply to everyone who crosses land borders, regardless of the reason for travel.

US health officials have also said that all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted.

On the other hand, the WHO is once again concerned about the “very worrying” transmission rate of Covid-19 in Europe, which could cause another half a million deaths on the continent by February.

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This fourth wave primarily affects Germany, a country with which the Biden government is particularly careful in its negotiations.

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About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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