The ban, European officials point out, has kept families separated since early 2020, when the coronavirus was erupting across Europe. European countries have weathered a third wave of infections propelled by the Delta variant. But in several countries, including Britain, infection rates have begun to level off and even decline.
British newspapers played up the fact that the parents of Emma Raducanu, the British woman who won the U.S. Open tennis tournament, could not travel to New York to watch her play.
Europe is the largest market for passenger flows to and from Britain, according to the International Air Transport Association, but North America is the second biggest, accounting for 10.1 million passengers.
Constantin Film, one of Germany’s biggest production and distribution companies, is based in Munich and has an office in Los Angeles, according to the company’s chief executive, Martin Moszkowicz.
During the 18 months of the travel ban, the company’s investment in the U.S. economy “was basically zero,” Mr. Moszkowicz said. The company had to move the production of two feature films and one show to Canada and South Africa, he said.
For many, the travel ban meant losing time with family.
“I am trying not to cry because it’s such a beautiful day,” said Giovanni Vincenti, 42, an Italian professor who lives in Baltimore. Mr. Vincenti’s daughter, who was born last May, has never met her grandparents because of the travel restrictions.
Cristina Garbarino, 55, a babysitter in Genoa, Italy, said the travel ban put on hold her visa and her plan to get married, and kept her apart from her fiancé, who lives in New Hampshire, for almost two years.
“At my age, I don’t have much time to lose,” she said, “and I lost two years like this.”
Reporting was contributed by Emma Bubola from Rome, Stephen Castle from London, Ceylan Yeginsu from Istanbul and Patrick Wehner from Washington.