International flights come to Dulles as US eases travel restrictions

Travelers check the flight board at Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County, Virginia. (WTOP/Gigi Barnett)

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.

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.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Gigi Barnett

Gigi Barnett is an anchor at WTOP. She has worked in the media for more than 20 years. Before joining WTOP, she was an anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and a staff reporter at The Miami Herald. She’s a Navy wife and mom of three.

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