Europeans wishing to return to Florida


ORLANDO, Florida – For more than a year, Lorraine Hutchinson has been waiting for the White House to announce Friday that she will soon allow fully vaccinated international travelers to enter the United States.

Under the new policy, fully vaccinated international travelers who tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours before their flight will be able to enter the United States, provided they share contact tracing information, an official says. .

What would you like to know

  • Europeans keen to visit Florida again as US travel restrictions ease
  • Fully vaccinated people from 30 countries can come to the United States from November 8
  • They must also have a negative COVID test 72 hours before travel
  • The timing of the announcement may affect some travels in the near future.

The move impacts travelers from more than 30 countries, including Brazil, China and most of Europe.

International visitors represent a significant portion of tourists and income for Florida.

“We view pent-up travel demand as a global phenomenon. We look forward to the return of transatlantic air service in the coming weeks,” Phil Brown, chief executive of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, said on Friday. about 14% of our overall traffic. After October 25, we will have a much clearer idea of ​​the impact of the new rules and regulations on our operations at Orlando International Airport. “

According to GOAA, Airports Council International (ACI) expects guidelines to be communicated to airports and airlines on Oct. 25, to give airports time to prepare and coordinate locally. The Centers for Disease Control has already informed airlines that all vaccines approved and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the World Health Organization’s emergency use list will be accepted for travel, according to the GOAA.

Data from Visit Florida shows that in 2019, 131.4 million people visited Florida, including 10.9 million from overseas and 3.6 million from Canada.

Hutchinson, from Nottingham, England, said his family has traveled to Central Florida once or twice a year, every year, since 1998.

“For us it’s dreamland, and I totally go back to being a little girl when I’m in the middle of Disney, or Universal, or SeaWorld,” Hutchinson said.

She described the past two years as “heartbreaking” as her family awaited the lifting of travel restrictions.

With friends on Merritt Island and her family in Tampa, Hutchinson said she was eager to return to Central Florida, where her family also owns a second home.

A full-time healthcare worker, Hutchinson said her family spent several weeks in central Florida at a time, spending thousands of dollars on flights, car rentals, food and travel on cruises and theme parks.

His hopes of returning sooner rather than later, however, appear bleak.

His family spent over $ 4,000 last year to book tickets on TUI airline for a trip in November 2021. TUI provided non-stop flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB); however, TUI has canceled these seasonal flights.

A spokesperson for TUI said the company intends to restore non-stop service between Central Florida and Britain in March 2022. As part of a move, however, this service will now be based in Melbourne Orlando International Airport in Brevard County.

Orlando International has already received notice from several international carriers that they intend to resume transatlantic service to the airport as soon as possible in early November, according to GOAA.

Virgin Atlantic told Spectrum News on Friday that the airline will be relaunching its non-stop service between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Manchester and London Heathrow from Monday, November 8, 2021.

British Airways has yet to announce when it will restore non-stop service between Orlando and Tampa International Airports and the UK as it had planned in the past. The British Airways website so far does not list any non-stop flights between Florida and the UK on November 8.

The timing of the White House announcement could prove costly.

The Hutchinson family must postpone a trip to Florida as flights become more widely available. The time and money they planned to spend next month will now be spent on a trip elsewhere in Europe.

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