Families and friends were overjoyed at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday (August 2).
A travel rule change meant many could reunite after 18 months of separation without the need to quarantine.
Sue Blake was waiting for her family from New York:
"It means the world, especially an eight year old child who hasn't seen his grandparents for a couple of years - it is a big chunk of his life and I am so thrilled for him that he can come here."
Watching the emotional scenes in the arrivals hall, Heathrow's boss urged Britain to remove barriers to travel.
John Holland-Kaye spoke to Reuters amid speculation that the government was poised to impose more rules:
"I think quarantine-free travel and testing-free travel is what we should be aiming for and as more parts of the world get their vaccination levels up to the level we have in the UK, we should be aiming to get back to travel as it used to be and getting back to connecting businesses and families in the way we have always done. And that is what Heathrow is all about."
Britain has scrapped quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals from the EU and the United States.
Although France is excluded from the relaxation.
Airline bosses have been urging the UK to soften its rules as the sector battles to get back up and running.
But on Monday there was another potential headache for the industry.
The Times newspaper reported that the government is planning to warn holidaymakers against visiting Spain.
It's worried about rising cases in Britain's most popular holiday destination.