After almost two years of travel restrictions, passengers and aviation representatives celebrated the resumption of travel to the US on Monday.

Thousands of travellers were jetting off for long-awaited reunions with family and friends.

A US-UK taskforce was launched in June with the goal of opening up travel to the country.

All UK visitors over the age of 18 are required to be fully vaccinated to enter the country and provide proof of vaccination via their vaccine passport. 

In addition to being vaccinated, travellers must provide proof of either a negative result from a coronavirus test taken no more than three days before travel, or that they have recovered from the virus in the previous three months.

Children are exempt from the vaccination requirement but those aged between two and 17 must take a coronavirus test three to five days after arrival.

Fully vaccinated people travelling from the US to the UK must take a test on or before the second day after their arrival.

To celebrate the end of the travel ban rival airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operated a synchronised departure from the west London airport to celebrate the end of the travel ban.

Their aircraft took off from parallel runways at 8.51am and will land in New York JFK at around 11am local time.

The chief executive of Virgin Atlantic hailed it as a “day of celebration”.