Europe-to-U.S. Travel Ban Ends, Finally


“We must solve this problem as soon as possible,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, stated in unusually blunt remarks in August. “This cannot drag on for weeks.”

It dragged on for months.

Countless Europeans missed essential household gatherings like reunions, births, weddings and funerals. Thousands turned to social media to strain governments for an finish to the journey ban, utilizing the hashtag #LoveIsNotTourism.

Eirini Linardaki, a French-Greek visible artist who was planning to fly to New York on Monday to be reunited along with her associate, stated she had felt injustice over the summer season as she noticed planes from the United States touchdown in Paris. “The idea that we couldn’t visit our loved one in the country they are, we as Europeans were not familiar with that,” she stated about prepandemic journey.

Ms. Linardaki, 45, continues to be not taking something without any consideration: “I keep wondering, is this real?”

Even with the borders set to reopen, some Europeans are nonetheless making an attempt to understand what they’ve been by, stated Edward Alden, a senior fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations who makes a speciality of immigration and commerce. “This has separated lots of couples and families, and went on much longer than most people thought it would,” he stated, “so there has been enormous frustration.”

In latest months, Mr. Alden stated, some European leaders have grown annoyed with the Biden administration over points just like the haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan. Then got here a diplomatic disaster with France, which reacted with fury after Australia canceled its submarine deal in favor of an settlement with the United States and Britain.

Lifting the journey ban was one step towards the bigger aim of easing tensions. “It was a bone that Biden could throw to the Europeans,” Mr. Alden stated. Another, he stated, was the deal just lately introduced to roll again the tariffs on metal and aluminum that had been imposed through the Trump administration.

As vacationers ready to fly to the United States this week, many reported blended feelings.

“More stressed than excited,” stated Line Baumann, a 23-year-old from Denmark who was scheduled to fly to Denver on Monday to be reunited along with her boyfriend. “We were let down so many times.”