Miami airport welcomes vaccinated travelers from 33 countries after US reopens borders

The Miami International Airport welcomed more foreign travelers on Monday after the U.S. lifted the pandemic ban.

MIAMI – Monday marks a big day for travel in the U.S. as the country is re-opening its borders for many international travelers, ending a nearly 2-year-long ban.

And it’s expected to bring a big boost to South Florida’s tourism industry.

For more than 18 months, many traveling routes were quiet due to the coronavirus pandemic as then-President Donald Trump announced he was banning most travel into the U.S.

After the U.S. lifted restrictions on travel, Miami International Airport welcomes back flights from Brazil and about 30 other countries to visitors with proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.

Few would have predicted that ban would last through most of 2021.

Most travelers from some of the country’s closest allies were barred from visiting.

For some, loved ones separated by borders meant months of heartache, and for airlines, it spelled disaster.

“We keep outlining the economic impact of staying closed and the human impact,” British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said. “So, there is a lot of people who haven’t been able to visit family in the U.S. They haven’t been able to reunite. You know, both countries have huge amounts of foreign direct investment going both ways and that’s going to be impacted by this impasse.”

South Florida airports fully reopened to vaccinated international travelers on Monday and welcomed long awaited family reunions.

As COVID-19 cases decreased and flowed, and vaccinations began to roll out, the U.S.’s position did not change, much to the frustration of European leaders.

“The travel ban seriously harms vital economic and human ties at a time when they’re most needed,” The EU ambassador in Washington tweeted.

Americans have been able to travel overseas for some months, with some restrictions like vaccination requirements, COVID testing or quarantine.

Mayors in Miami Beach and Miami celebrate President Joe Biden's administration's decision to lift travel ban.

The U.S. is lifting the ban for 33 countries including Brazil, most European countries and China.

International visitors will need to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID test, with some exceptions.

The mayors of Miami and Miami Beach celebrated the decision and expect it will prompt the recovery of the area’s tourism industry.

“This will mean more visitors to our local businesses and more job creation, as our tourism industry and economy continue to rebound and recover,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement.

The U.S. on Monday is reopening its borders for many international travelers, ending a nearly 2-year-long ban. And it's expected to bring a big boost to South Florida's tourism industry.

About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.