Travelers at Philadelphia International Airport react to non-essential travel to Europe opening

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many travelers at Philadelphia International Airport told Action News they were excited to vacation in Europe now that nonessential travel is opening back up, though it is a gradual process.

"Ecstatic, like very excited just to be able to get there, just travel more freely," said Jasmine Bell from West Philadelphia.

Now that the European Union has recommended member countries to lift restrictions on tourists from the United States, many people around Philadelphia said they can't wait to pack their bags.

"I'm so excited, I've been dying to go this summer," said Angel Tran from North Philadelphia.

However some said they have to save up for next summer because of the financial burdens from the pandemic.

"My boyfriend wasn't working; he was in the food service industry so that was a little bit tough," said Zandra Ruiz, from Denver, Colorado, traveling through Philadelphia International Airport. "But he's coming back to his job in a few weeks, so that will be easier I think. We just kind of want to save a little bit before we start traveling outside of the U.S. again."

Others said while they want to go, they just don't feel safe making the trip at this time.

"My husband and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, and that was really our plan to go to Europe; I'm not quite sure I'm there yet," said Sharon Kelleher from Paoli, Pennsylvania.

Non-essential travel isn't open to Americans in all countries in Europe yet.

"I just agree with everyone having their own policy," said Leondra McClendon from Lumberton, New Jersey.

A local travel agent told Action News she's seeing interest in travel to Europe, but it's a waiting game since not every country is allowing Americans.

"Greece, Iceland, Croatia wide open," said Suzanne Shank, the owner of Atlas Travel. "Spain and Portugal have just opened, but it's a slow pace, it's not turning a light switch by any means."

One thing she tells her clients who are vacationing in Europe is, "You have to have a COVID test before you leave, wherever you are, to get back into the U.S. 100 percent."

Shank said she recommends taking your vaccination card along with your passport when traveling abroad as a precaution.
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