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Orlando International Airport Will Welcome Fully Vaccinated US Foreign Nationals Again Starting in November. Here's How That Could Help the Local Economy.

Photo: Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, a United Airlines airplane takes off over a plane on the runway at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco. United Airlines says it will train 5,000 pilots at its own academy in this decade, and it hopes that half of them will be women or people of color. United said Tuesday, April 6, 2021, it is now taking applications for the academy in Arizona, including from people who have no flying experience. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

US foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to fly into Orlando International Airport for the first time in almost two years come November. The Biden administration relaxed some international travel restrictions this week.

Passengers from the UK and Europe must provide proof of full vaccination along with a negative result on a COVID test taken three days before departure.

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown says the Biden administration’s choice to relax some international travel restrictions is welcome news.

Brown says international travel at Orlando International Airport made up 15 percent of the airport’s total traffic before the pandemic. Now that number has fallen to 3.5 percent. 

In a statement he says, “The next important step will be to find out the details of the decision and how they will impact our carriers and our operations.”

In a separate statement, airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell echoes this sentiment saying, “So many jobs and services depend on or rather are enhanced  by  the visitors that come to our community, particularly the international visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe who stay longer and possibly spend more than domestic visitors.”

MCO offers nonstop flights to 21 countries, service to Canada and limited transatlantic connections to Iceland, Germany and the UAE. 

These new rules do not impact ground travel between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.