With tears, hugs and balloons, the US allows vaccinated foreign travelers to enter the country

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“There are so many things to remember and organize,” she said as she sat on a bench in the departure terminal, updating her email feed every few minutes while waiting for her negative coronavirus test result. “It’s very stressful, but I know that it will be worth it when I see my children and meet my grandchildren,” she said, her eyes crying.

Reyna Martinez from Ensenada, Mexico, crossed the Tijuana-California border with her daughter for the first time in two years. She said she crossed earlier at least four times a year to meet friends or go shopping. On Monday she was on her way to Long Beach, California to visit a friend. “Who knows if they might close it again,” she said in Spanish. “I was worried if I don’t go now I might miss it. So here we are.

In Canada, Judy and Wayne Peters packed their cobalt gray BMW for their 1,520 mile journey south of Kelowna, British Columbia. You own a prefabricated home in an upscale RV park in Yuma, a town halfway between Phoenix and San Diego.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadian “snowbirds,” typically retirees, flock to the United States each year to spend the winter.

After the travel restrictions for the pandemic were lifted, thousands are already on their way to Florida, Arizona and California with motorhomes and boats in tow.

“It was a mild winter here, and that paid off in our favor,” said Mr Peters, 69. “But we look forward to being in a nice warm environment with our American friends again.”

Miriam Jordan, Matt Stevens, Niraj Chokshi, Kevin Armstrong, Michael Paulson and Max Rivlin-Nadler Reporting contributed.


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