Airlines prepare for international travelers following new vaccination policy

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – For the first time in nearly two years international travelers are allowed back in the United States.

Arrival and departure flights for Canada and Mexico were scheduled for Monday afternoon at RDU.

International flights coming and going are only expected to increase at airports across the country in the coming days. Beginning Monday, non-U.S. citizens will be able to fly into the country as long as they show proof of full vaccination. 

All passengers, including U.S. citizens, will still need to show proof of a negative COVID test within three days of flying back into the U.S. regardless of vaccination status. 

The new international vaccination policy comes after the U.S. closed its borders in 2020 as a way to slow COVID spread. 

Some travelers at RDU Monday said they feel this is a good move happening at the right time.

“I think it’s important that they get to travel to see family and friends. I think it’s really important and hopefully will boost our economy some as well,” said Traveler Kristen Horton.

“I think it’s a great thing. I think we’re all ready. I think we all have like COVID-19 fatigue but I think it’s about learning how to live with it and then trying to just come up with protocols and procedures to bring us all back to normal and traveling and seeing loved ones is an important part of it,” said Raleigh resident Madiana Udeozo

All major U.S. airlines said they took a hit by losing international travelers during the pandemic so they’re also eager to see those bookings return as well.

There will be some exceptions made to this policy for people coming from countries with limited access to the vaccine. 

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