TAMPA, Fla. — More than a year-and-a-half after the United States closed its borders, international travelers are headed back starting Monday. But there is still a list of restrictions for travel, even for American citizens who wish to head overseas.
Starting November 8, the United States will start allowing fully vaccinated international travelers to cross our borders, with a few exceptions. Children under 18 don’t need to be vaccinated, but they will have to take a negative COVID-19 test if they’re over 2-years-old.
U.S. travel advisors are already expecting a big influx of people coming in, and Americans going out.
“There is so much pent-up demand! I mean, for all of us who even had trips booked before the pandemic, we’re ready to go again,” said Lori Judd, owner of Prestige Travel Vacations LLC located in the Tampa Bay area.
For Americans headed outside the country, regulations are going to be similar to foreigners when you come back in. If you’re vaccinated, you’ll need to provide a negative COVID test within three days of your departure back to the U.S. If you’re unvaccinated, you’ll have to provide a negative test within 24 hours.
Judd recommends using a travel advisor to help you keep up with changing restrictions.
“It’ll help you navigate the coronavirus-related restrictions, and make canceling trips or rebooking trips a lot easier,” said Judd.
She tells people not to be wary of traveling internationally but warns people to book early and be flexible.
“As we already know, the airlines have already canceled flights, so pay the extra money for trip insurance, that’ll cover you if you test positive and you can’t come back into the states right away, that’s gonna be an extra cost, but it’s gonna be well worth it,” said Judd.
She also reminds people that Americans are going to be competing against international travelers, once again, for our domestic flights, so if there are fewer options available, that may be why.
When it comes to who will enforce these rules, airlines are expected to verify vaccine records for air travel, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will be checking for proof of vaccination for those traveling by land.
For a full list of travel regulations and restrictions, click here.