U.S. citizens longing for international travel: Will they be welcomed?

(CNN) – In downtown Buffalo, New York, crossing the border into Ontario, Canada, used to be as easy as driving a mile across the Bridge of Peace across the Niagara River. But it is now a forbidden route.

In the age of the coronavirus, New Yorkers and non-state travelers are not allowed to cross the border for leisure.

Because the United States has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than anywhere else in the world, and the number is increasing every day in some states, travelers to the U.S. are unlikely to be allowed at any point.

“The chances of the US are close to zero,” one EU diplomat told CNN. “With their rate of infection … they can’t believe that possibility either.”

As long as the U.S.-Canadian border remains closed, a visit to U.S. citizens of Niagara Falls will not be possible.

LARS HAGBERG / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

Where does this new world order leave U.S. citizens prone to travel?

Nostalgic for the days before Covid, when an American passport promised access to much of the world? Worried about how states will perceive – and receive – them when restrictions finally loosen?

The future of American travel and whether it will welcome them again as tourists is not clear; in many ways it is a moot point as long as travel to certain areas is prohibited.


While many Americans leave air travel and embark on a journey instead, they will not embark on a Canada journey. In fact, travel restrictions for U.S. passport holders at the moment far outweigh travel options.

And for many people it just needs to be.

A trip to Canada is unlikely to be a summer vacation option for Americans, while the Covid-19 epidemic in the U.S. continues to thrive.

A trip to Canada is unlikely to be a summer vacation option for Americans, while the Covid-19 epidemic in the U.S. continues to thrive.

Courtesy of Rail Rail Canada

Colleen Friesen, who lives in a small resort town in British Columbia, hopes the U.S.-Canadian border will remain closed.

“Most Canadians are strongly opposed to letting Americans into the country because of the raging rate of infection in the U.S.. Although some states seem to be running a pandemic, when we see news of Oklahoma allow a closed rally, we just shake our collective heads.” Friesen emails CNN Travel.

Colorado-based Stacey McKenna is currently reluctant to consider international travel, though she predicts it is partly because places on her radar are “extremely economically and geographically highly compromised” and she would not be willing to risk anyone.

“I think if I get to a place where I think an international (or even air) trip would be appropriate, then I’m going to start wondering if I think I’d be welcome.”

For New York writer Juliet Izon, who canceled a summer vacation in Italy a few months ago, when there was still hope that things might continue, as the United States is disastrous and depressing compared to other countries.

Izon believes he will one day travel to Italy, but says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if in certain countries if Americans aren’t allowed some time or really strict quarantine for years to come,” adding that the United States’ treatment of Covid-19 is likely to be. another black mark against us “.

Other? The state of American politics.

Friesen, who says she appreciates politicians from her country at the back of the scientific and medical community, fears the way the virus has “become politicized” in the United States.

But one EU diplomat, who spoke to CNN earlier in the week on condition of anonymity, considers the decision to travel the US to the EU a very sensitive issue and insists that “ever just for health’s sake”.

“You can certainly see that it is not on the list as something political, when one country is allowed and another is not, but this is a misrepresentation of what we are doing. We are looking to open our borders, this is a positive step.”

Despite that statement and the insistence of EU diplomats that “we want people to come”, the much changed travel landscape worries some people.

“Instead of thinking about the near future of travel, I was thinking about how all of this would affect xenophobia in general,” McKenna says.

A holistic experience

Dennis Geronimus, an associate professor and lecturer at New York University of Art, has historically combined business and leisure travel, often to Italy. Personally, he is not worried about how he will be received when he travels abroad again – and he is someone who will probably be able to travel to certain foreign lands even before other Americans.

This is largely due to the nature of his travels. Geronimus usually hosts international colleagues and admits that “it’s different from going somewhere on vacation without knowing anyone, and then just immersing yourself in the culture and going sightseeing and seeing other foreigners in those locations.”

At the moment, American travelers cannot go to Italy and cities like Rome (above), at least not for the sake of pure free travel.

At the moment, American travelers cannot go to Italy and cities like Rome (above), at least not for the sake of pure free travel.

ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP via Getty Images

Geronimus can now take steps to potentially ban access to leisure travelers in the U.S., even though he would still be quarantined.

In any case, although he would like to see the Raphael exhibition in Rome and collaborate with colleagues in Italy, he is not planning a trip to the region soon.

This might be considered crucial, but Geronimus does not consider it important enough. Instead, the professor would rather focus on the measures needed to continue on-site classes at NYU this fall.

Likewise, McKenna, whose background is in medical anthropology and public health, thinks about other, bigger things: “I’ll be honest. I didn’t even get to the question of whether I would feel welcome as an American” since international travel isn’t appropriate right now .

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says: “We have worked with countries around the world, including our friends in Europe and the EU, to determine how best we can safely reopen international travel. It is important that the United States gain Europeans the ability to return to the United States. States. “

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Safety comes first

It’s not about Americans, per se, says New Zealander Ellen Turner, though it’s hard to ignore the limitations that affect them, along with the number of confirmed Covid deaths and cases.

“I think once the borders reopen properly, New Zealanders will welcome Americans like other travelers,” Turner says.

But Frisen, who is plagued by U.S. treatment of the pandemic, says, “Given the pressure on pandemic protocols we’ve seen in the U.S., we just don’t believe Americans will act properly.”

New Zealand - travel destination - shutterstock_180140354

While New Zealand may create a travel bubble with Australia, it is unlikely that Americans will get it soon.

Kindly Shutterstock

However, for so many people CNN Travel spoke to, the health and safety of others – and doing what was right – is the most important.

Joshua Mellin, based in Chicago, says, “I think a trip abroad for leisure at the moment shows a complete lack of worry, you deserve everything you watch.”

Mellin adds: “Personally, I think we are all global citizens, but there is still the reality that you do not have the right to access foreign countries, you have been granted entry.”

When it comes to approving the entry of foreigners, Turner will be ready to accept proposals from the New Zealand government. Currently, New Zealand citizens must return to quarantine two weeks after arrival, and no one else is allowed to enter.

If quarantine has been applied to all visitors to New Zealand, then what?

“So if this should be extended to all arrivals, then I think New Zealanders would be fine with that because in general, our government has dealt well with the pandemic and there is a high degree of confidence in them,” Turner says.

He adds, however, that he does not see that happening, he does not envisage opening New Zealand to foreigners until quarantine is no longer needed.

The idea of ​​pre-holiday quarantine is controllable anyway.

Last month, when the concept was getting steamed, Alison Hickey, president Kensington Tours, told CNN Travel “we do not recommend traveling to a destination where a 14-day quarantine request has been applied.”

‘We reopen’

Although the imposed quarantines will deter many travelers, other non-quarantine regions in force can detain them.

American passengers can fly to Mexico, but for many risks it does not apply. Pictured: Parroquia de San Miguell Arcángel in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.

American passengers can fly to Mexico, but for many risks it does not apply. Pictured: Parroquia de San Miguell Arcángel in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.


Whether it’s hotel promotions or upgrades or relaxed cancellation rules, the sweet choir “opening up” could potentially start what was a very dark period in the tourism sector.

But just because the Maldives, a luxury destination, is ready to welcome all visitors without any restrictions (there are also no visa requirements and additional fees), how many American citizens are willing to leave?

Many U.S. travelers interviewed by CNN Travel because of this story are welcome or feel welcome in another country.

Danger of exposure and exposure of looms. And then there’s the fear of getting stuck somewhere far away.

Elizabeth Lavis, who is originally from New York, found herself in an attempt to get out of Vietnam in March amid outbreaks and sudden severe travel restrictions. That move and what is happening with the coronavirus have made Lavis unwilling to go far from home in the foreseeable future.

California resident Melanie Haiken expresses a desire to help as an economy struggling in the economy and is already considering her future travels, which include places not so close to home: “As for international travel, I would be willing to travel again in August, but I would like to to visit places that are eager for visitors. I look at Guatemala and Costa Rica, Turkey and Jordan, Scotland, Estonia and a few other places that look like likely candidates based on security and how much their economy depends on tourism. “

Turkey would, it seems, be a likely candidate. On June 19, Turkish Airlines re-launched two North American routes to Istanbul with two others (Miami and Los Angeles) after June 22 and 24. By the end of July, three additional U.S. hubs will operate flights to Turkey.

Any travel ban in the EU could change things, but since June 23, when CNN spoke to Connecticut-based Caryn B. Davis about her upcoming trip to the Azores in Portugal, a travel journalist said she still plans to leave, hopefully up in the next six weeks.

Pompeo He expressed the importance of the economy in travel between the US and the EU, saying “It is important that the United States gets Europeans with the capacity to return to the United States. It is important, very important, that Europeans fully connect with the American economy.”

But while security issues can’t be adequately addressed, Mellin doesn’t think anyone, U.S. citizen or not, should go anywhere.

“It is a responsibility to show respect for other people and places as a traveler starting at home, and it is inherent in a breakthrough by visiting another country during a global pandemic.”

But in fact, international travel can continue sooner or later in some currently extramarital places. “I am confident that in the coming weeks we will realize that not only the United States and the EU, but also the United States and other parts of the world,” Pompeo said.

What will it look like?

“I think that if we travel anything, I certainly hope that this feeling, I guess, will bring empathy wherever we go …”, says Geronimus.

James Frater, Michael Conte and Luke McGee of CNN contributed to the coverage of this story.

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