For months, Europeans and their leaders seethed about what they considered unfair treatment from the United States, which kept a Covid-related travel ban in place for much longer than Europe did.
Even now, as the United States is opening up again to travelers, many remain wary. Some were planning to jump on planes as fast as possible — just in case the welcome mat is suddenly pulled away again.
Laurence Tesson was one of them.
The fear that something could still go wrong haunted her, she said, as she prepared to see her son in Los Angeles for the first time in three years.
“Only when I set a foot at the Los Angeles airport will I be relieved,” Ms. Tesson, 54, said this weekend.
Her flight was scheduled to depart at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, one of the first planes heading to the United States from Europe after the lifting of an 18-month ban on travelers without American passports. Now, travelers from 33 countries, among them Britain, Brazil, India, China and European Union states, can enter the United States with proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test no more than 72 hours old.
The travel ban did not just separate couples and families. It also left a gaping hole in the U.S. tourism industry. And it frustrated European leaders, who struggled to understand why it was still in place.
The lifting of the travel ban also signals the end of a diplomatic tussle between European leaders and the Biden administration, which has tried to ease strained relation with leaders on the continent.