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US lifts restrictions and opens borders to fully vaccinated travelers

To celebrate the reopening, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic scheduled two flights to take off simultaneously from London to New York.

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

The United States reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers on Monday, allowing nonessential international travel for the first time since COVID lockdowns began in March 2020. 

To commemorate the reopening, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic scheduled two flights to take off simultaneously from London's Heathrow to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airports. 

Both airlines also took to Twitter to celebrate the occasion. Virgin Atlantic posted a new US-themed cocktail it calls Fly With Me. British Airways shared pictures of the flight's takeoff and exclaimed, "The day is finally here!"

The US announced its plans to reopen borders to fully vaccinated travelers in October. International travelers flying to the US will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test taken within three days of departure.