Vaccinated international travelers prepare to return to Orlando as restrictions ease

ORLANDO, Fla. — International travelers who are vaccinated for COVID-19 will finally be able to fly into Orlando next month.

They’ve been kept out of Central Florida for the last year and a half due to the pandemic.

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Many British tourists are wasting no time getting their trips booked.

Some said they were on the phone with British Airways for several hours on Friday when the news dropped, as it seems everyone had the same idea.

READ: Feds to lift COVID-19 international travel ban on Nov. 8, with some guidelines

Airport leaders are excited too, because international service usually makes up about 14% of its overall traffic.

“We come to Orlando, usually every two years, maybe. occasionally, every year,” said international tourist Stephen Smith. “The really good thing about Orlando is that every time we come, there’s something new to do. And you very rarely run out of things to do, so it’s a really diverse place, and multicultural and new rides every time we’re there.”

READ: Spirit Airlines to launch new nonstop service between Orlando, Puerto Rico

Smith said they hoped to come last Halloween, then tried again for this Easter and this Halloween, but President Joe Biden’s administration announced vaccinated foreign nationals aren’t able to visit until Nov. 8.

Smith already has a trip booked for days later, landing Nov. 13.

READ: Southwest Airlines CEO blames Central Florida for recent flight cancellations, delays

To enter the country, he and other international tourists will have to show proof of vaccination and proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.