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Floridians Are Eager To Travel To Europe, But European Visitors To Florida Will Have To Wait

Photo: Spencer Davis
Photo: Spencer Davis

The past year has been grim for travel agents like Janice Sinardi. But following the EU announcement, the phone at her Temple Terrace office started ringing off the hook.

“I've had inquiries for Spain, a lot for Italy, because Italy is one of the number one places most people want to go to,” she said. “But France, Greece. As a matter of fact, this morning, I booked somebody to Greece for late June.”

Crossing the Atlantic will be easier starting next month, as British Airways returns to Tampa International Airport. Flights to Zurich resume in July, and direct service to Germany comes back in September.

Don’t expect to see the surge in outbound traffic translate into visits to Florida right away. The U.S. remains closed to most international visitors, including Canadians. 3.6 million people from Canada visited Florida in 2019, according to Visit Florida.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said 75 percent of Canada's population will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the U.S. border can reopen.

The U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade group, is calling on the Biden Administration to relax restrictions on international travel. “Based on science and data, resumption of travel between low-risk countries, and in particular among vaccinated individuals, should be allowed to resume,” the USTA said in an open letter to President Biden.

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Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.