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US reopens travel after 20 months

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 13th November, 2021 10:49:35 AM
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US reopens travel after 20 months

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New York is welcoming back visitors with open arms after the US ended its 20-month Covid travel restrictions, but it will likely take several years before the number of tourists to the Big Apple reaches pre-pandemic levels.

The economic and cultural powerhouse of Manhattan is already feeling busier since the United States lifted its ban on "non-essential" travel on November 8, with Europeans among the early returnees.

The ban, first imposed by ex-president Donald Trump in March 2020, impacted foreign visitors from about 30 countries, including those in the European Schengen area, Britain, China, India and Russia.

Visitors can now travel to the US provided they are fully vaccinated, a landmark moment in New York's bid to recover economically from the pandemic.

The city welcomed almost 67 million tourists in 2019. They brought in $70 billion and more than 400,000 jobs, according to Chris Heywood, executive vice president of NYC & Company, the city's tourism board.