For the Calva family, it was a teary-eyed reunion at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Dayanna Patino Calva of Danbury, Conn., rushed to her sister’s 8-month-old baby, who was being pushed in a stroller, and kissed him.
“It had just been too long,” Ms. Calva’s sister, Anabel Patino Calva, said in Spanish, about why she and her son arrived on the first day on a flight from Brussels.
And thousands of Canadians — “snowbirds,” typically retirees — are already on their way to Florida, Arizona and California, among other warm destinations, with campers and boats in tow.
“We’re ready to enjoy what the United States has to offer,” said Wayne Peters of Kelowna, British Columbia, who is about to embark on a 1,520-mile journey south to Yuma, Ariz., with his wife for five months of hiking, golfing and playing pickle ball.
Airlines saw a big spike in online searches and ticket bookings for international travel. Delta Air Lines said that many of its international flights on Monday were fully booked. The carrier’s first flight into the United States under the looser restrictions, DL106, arrived from São Paulo, Brazil in Atlanta on Monday, just before 10 a.m. Eastern time. By the end of Monday, Delta expects to fly 139 mostly full planes from 38 countries into the U.S.
But the new rules also created some confusion. Travelers from Colombia had not faced restrictions, but as of Monday, they too must be fully vaccinated. Juan David Peláez, 43, who owns an insurance company in Bogotá, his wife and son, his parents, and his brother and sister-in-law had been set to arrive on Monday.
But Mr. Peláez said that though he is vaccinated with Moderna, he has not yet received an official vaccine certificate from the government and worried about being able to provide proof. He switched his own ticket, as well as that of his wife, who is also vaccinated, and that of his young son, to arrive on Sunday, a day before the rest of the group.