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United States Officially Ends Pandemic Travel Ban

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In the interest of pandemic safety, the United States has kept its borders closed to nonessential international travel since last year. However, as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue and it becomes gradually safer to travel, it has been decided that it is once again time to allow foreign travelers in, provided they can provide proof of their own safety.

The US government announced today that travel is now permitted from a long list of countries that were previously restricted. This list includes, among others, Canada, Mexico, and most of the countries within the European Union. Tourists will be able to visit the United States in time for the fall and winter holidays, and family members separated by restrictions will be able to reunite.

The only catch is that, in order to enter the United States, a foreign traveler will need to provide not only proof of full vaccination, but a recently-administered COVID-19 test reading negative. To clarify, that second requirement is only for air travel; foreign travelers can enter from Mexico or Canada by land with just proof of vaccination, no test needed.

Tourist attractions and shopping centers across the US borders and in major tourist towns have been struggling greatly due to the lack of foreign travelers, so it is hoped that reopening the borders will give them some much-needed business. One Canadian woman who spoke to NPR, River Robinson, said that she has been separated from her American partner by the closures, which meant they weren’t able to celebrate the birth of their son together.

“I’m planning to take my baby down for the American Thanksgiving,” Robinson said. “If all goes smoothly at the border I’ll plan on taking him down as much as I can. Is crazy to think he has a whole other side of the family he hasn’t even met yet.”

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