Photos show flights and airports filling up around the world as vaccinations ramp up and countries reopen

·4 min read
flights air travel boom coronavirus vaccine
Crowded airports and planes in 2021. Tom Pallini/Insider
  • People are receiving COVID vaccines across the world, and travelers are getting back on planes.

  • Travel restrictions vary from country to country. Some are open to US tourists, like Paraguay.

  • Other countries have strict travel bubbles between them, like Australia and New Zealand.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

People around the world are getting their coronavirus vaccines, and tourists are packing their bags and getting on planes again, filling airports and planes worldwide.

flight covid vaccine
A flight from Denver to Houston in February 2021. Tom Pallini/Insider

Source: Forbes

Within the US, the CDC has said that fully vaccinated people can travel with a relatively low risk of catching the coronavirus.

Southwest Airlines flight
Passengers on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 flight line up to exit the aircraft after arriving at Houston's Hobby airport in March 2021. Charlie Riedel/ AP

Source: Insider

Passengers in US airports have begun crowding check-in sites at airports like LAX.

Passengers check in at the American Airlines counters at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on April 24, 2021. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers check-in at the American Airlines counters at the Los Angeles International Airport on April 24, 2021. DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Insider

While flying United from Denver to Houston in February, Insider's Tom Pallini said this terminal crowd looked like pre-pandemic times - save for the masks.

flight coronavirus vaccine
Passengers wait to board at a gate in Denver in February 2021. Tom Pallini/Insider

Source: Insider

Since February, vaccines and stimulus check rollouts have led to fuller flights as people want to take trips, Pallini reported.

flight coronavirus vaccine
An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Los Angeles in March 2021. Tom Pallini/Insider

Source: Insider

In early April, Americans began flocking to Hawaii, but locals are pushing back because the pandemic isn't over, Insider's Monica Humphries previously reported.

Visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, enter the state after the new pre-travel testing program launched.
Visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, in October 2020, when the state began to allow travelers who test negative to omit quarantine rules. Marco Garcia/AP Photo

Source: Insider

Tourists from the US can travel to other countries like Paraguay as long as they test negative for COVID-19 before flying, according to a United Airlines guide to restrictions by country.

FILE - In this April 17, 2021, file photo, people check in for a flight to Miami at Silvio Pettirossi Airport, in Luque, Paraguay. Vaccine seekers who can afford to travel are coming to the United States to avoid the long wait, including people who have come from as far as Paraguay. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz, File)
People check-in for a flight to Miami at Silvio Pettirossi Airport, in Luque, Paraguay, on April 17, 2021. AP Photo/Jorge Saenz

Sources: Insider, United Airlines

In Europe, it's not just destinations that are filling up - flights that serve as their own tourist attractions have also been packed with people.

Passengers wear protective face masks onboard a plane during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine April 3, 2021. Ukraine International Airlines made a special offer marking the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Tourists get a bird's eye view of abandoned buildings in the ghost town of Pripyat and the massive domed structure covering a reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that exploded on April 26, 1986. Picture taken April 3, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Passengers on a plane during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone on April 3, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Source: CNN

Ukraine International Airlines is flying planes of tourists over the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for a bird's eye view, CNN reported.

Passengers board a plane during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine April 3, 2021. Ukraine International Airlines made a special offer marking the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Tourists get a bird's eye view of abandoned buildings in the ghost town of Pripyat and the massive domed structure covering a reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that exploded on April 26, 1986. Picture taken April 3, 2021.
Passengers board a plane during a tour to the Chernobyl exclusion zone on April 3, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Source: CNN

At an airport in France, crowds of visitors from countries in the COVID-19 red zone register for coronavirus tests upon arrival.

Passengers arriving from countries listed as Covid-19 red zones register for coronavirus tests upon their arrival at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris, on April 25, 2021. - Passengers arriving in France from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, India and Guyana must submit to a Covid-19 antigenic test and follow a 10 day quarantine at home, to curb the spread of coronavirus variants. (Photo by Ian LANGSDON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by IAN LANGSDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Passengers arriving from countries listed as red zones at Roissy Charles de Gaulle AIrport on April 25, 2021. IAN LANGSDON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Forbes

Spain's airports are filling up with travelers from European and Asian countries. Spain plans to reopen to all travelers in June, according to Travel Pulse.

Passengers wearing protective face masks arrive at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca, ahead of Easter celebrations, Spain, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo
Passengers wearing protective face masks arrive at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca, on April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo

Sources: CNN, Travel Pulse

New Zealand and Australia are still closed to most of the world, but a new travel bubble allows people to travel between the two countries without quarantine mandates.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 19: Passengers wearing face masks wait to board their flight bound for New Zealand at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport on April 19, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. The trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia begins on Monday, with people able to travel between the two countries without needing to quarantine. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
Passengers wearing face masks wait to board their flight bound for New Zealand in Sydney, Australia. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Friends and families in New Zealand eagerly crowded airport arrival terminals to finally be reunited with their loved ones from Australia.

Families wait to be reunited as travellers arrive on the first flight from Sydney, in Wellington on April 19, 2021, as Australia and New Zealand opened a trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel bubble. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)
Families wait to be reunited as travelers arrive on the first flight from Sydney in April 2021. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Reuters

In Asia, Taiwan launched a travel bubble with Palau, a country of more than 500 islands in Micronesia, on April 1, as Insider reported.

Travellers, wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, enter the boarding gate for the travel bubble flight to Palau, at Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan April 1, 2021.
Travelers enter the boarding gate for the travel bubble flight to Palau, at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport on April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Source: Insider

Thailand decreased its mandated quarantine for incoming travels from 15 days to 11 on April 1, but by the end of the month, they increased it to 15 again to combat a third wave, as CNN reported.

Bangkok, Thailand - April 11, 2021 : asian passengers using smartphones to checking news and waiting in row to check-in for airplane flights in covid-19 or coronavirus pandemic at airport terminal.
Passengers waiting to check-in for airplane flights in Bangkok in April 2021. Gumpanat/Shutterstock

Source: CNN

In Africa, South Africa reopened to travelers at the end of 2020, but a COVID-19 variant in the area may transmit faster, and vaccines may be less effective against it, CNN reported, putting a hold on some traveler's plans.

Cape town, South Africa airport
Passengers queue at the boarding gate in Cape Town, South Africa on March 13, 2021. Ilyas Kalimullin/Shutterstock

Source: CNN

Travelers have to submit screening forms and negative coronavirus tests. CNN travel recommends bringing several signed copies of the negative test.

Cape town, South Africa baggage claim
Passengers wait at the baggage claim in Cape Town, South Africa on March 13, 2021. Ilyas Kalimullin/Shutterstock

Source: CNN

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