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Bay Area airports to get much needed boost as travel restrictions loosen in U.S.

SAN JOSE, Calif (KRON) — The Bay Area’s tourism industry and airports will get a much needed boost this week as the U.S. scales back restrictions for international travelers. 

Starting Monday, COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travelers will be lifted as long as they show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the trip. 

Additionally, foregin travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. 

The U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the shots approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S.

In the Bay Area, COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions throughout the last year and a half has had a significant impact on the region. 

In September, the San Francisco International (SFO) airport saw 337,284 international passengers, only 26.5% of the total international passengers SFO had in September 2019. 

“For reference, domestic passengers were at 65% of pre-pandemic levels in September,” said Doug Yakel, public information officer for SFO. 

“The good news is that the revised travel rules have a lot of airlines resuming service, along with some brand-new airlines coming our way.” 

Starting Wednesday, French Bee will resume flights from SFO to Papeete.

Future plans at SFO include: 

  • The December resumption of suspended service from:
    • Fiji Airways nonstop service from SFO to Nadi;
    • Aer Lingus nonstop service from SFO to Dublin; and
    • United Airlines nonstop service from SFO to Paris
  • Two new airlines coming to SFO from Canada:
    • Flair, which launches flights from Edmonton and Vancouver next March and April respectively;
    • Air Transat, launches flights from Montreal next summer

Further south at the San Jose International Airport (SJC), officials tell KRON4 News the airport saw 27,421 international travelers in September, compared to 65,483 in September of 2019. 

“Our international traffic has remained strong as service has resumed throughout COVID. Our teams have been diligent in maintaining a safe and clean environment for travelers, and will continue to work with the airlines and other partners to comply with local, state, and federal requirements,” said Keonnis Tayor, public information manager for SJC. 

“Terminal Operations have not made changes based on the lifting of restrictions to inbound traffic and do not have plans to do so at this time.”

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