WASHINGTON — The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreigners who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, reopening the country to thousands of people, including those who have been separated from family in the United States during the pandemic, and easing a major source of tension with Europe.
The halt to the 18-month ban on travel from 33 countries, including members of the European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India, could help rejuvenate a U.S. tourism industry that has been crippled by the pandemic. The industry suffered a $500 billion loss in travel expenditures in 2020, according to the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group that promotes travel to and within the United States.
In New York City alone, the lack of tourists wiped out 89,000 jobs and resulted in a loss of more than $60 billion in revenue, the state comptroller found.
“Everyone says New York is back, New York is back, but it’s not really back until tourists are back from all countries,” said Leyla Saleh, 28, a pastry chef whose father was forced to shut down his gift shop in Midtown Manhattan last year because he did not have enough business.