Tampa airport prepares for first post-pandemic international flights

The U.S. ended its COVID-related travel ban on dozens of countries Monday, opening up dozens of airports to international travelers for the first time in more than a year and a half.

International travelers began flying into airports in several major cities, including New York and Los Angeles. Tampa International Airport will begin welcoming back international flights November 15.

"This is huge for Tampa International Airport, primarily for our European carriers," said Emily Nipps, a TPA spokesperson, adding British Airways and Lufthansa haven't been largely absent the airport during the pandemic.

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Traveling to the U.S. had been off-limits for 33 countries, including the entire U.K. and much of Europe.

The restrictions have made life difficult for foreigners living in the U.S. who have loved ones overseas.

"I just feel isolated from my family, from society, from like absolutely everything," said Alena Kryianok, as she waited at TPA to welcome her husband back to Tampa.

Kryianok, a native of Belarus, told FOX 13 the travel ban has made it so difficult to visit with her family members from Europe, they flew to Egypt to see one another.

"I, as a foreigner, am completely happy about [the end of the travel ban] because it's going to give more opportunity to visit other countries," she said. "

"I celebrate it to have my life back. I'm really looking forward [to it] and I just I really I miss my life."

Tampa International is planning a small celebration to welcome the first British Airways flight back to the airport next Monday.