International flights arrived at Dulles International Airport early Monday morning in Loudoun County, Virginia, just as COVID-19 restrictions on those overseas flights lifted.
The move allows passengers to finally take long-awaited trips to a slew of countries including Canada, Mexico and much of Europe.
“I was going to go see my mom two years ago,” said Mustapha Elmziat, whose red-eye flight arrived from Morocco. “She’s sick and I’m probably going to go every six months. It’s so easy now.”
Passengers still have to show proof of a COVID-19 shot and a negative test.
Elmziat, who lives in California, said he hasn’t been vaccinated, but did take a rapid test before boarding his flight. It was negative.
- As ban lifts, visitors to US await long-delayed hugs, kisses
- How US rules on international travel are changing
- More Travel News
U.S. citizens and permanent residents were always allowed to enter the country, but the travel bans blocked tourists.
Passengers like Elmziat are thrilled with the new rule.
“I’m very happy about this,” Elmziat said. “Just like normal life. Hopefully it stays this way.”
Airports are expecting to see more passengers because the new rules come just before the start of the busy holiday travel season.
Data from travel and analytics firm Cirium showed airlines are increasing flights between the United Kingdom and the U.S. by 21% in November over October.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Latest vaccination numbers in DC, Maryland and Virginia