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US Drops COVID Testing Requirement for Travelers Flying into the Country

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

The Biden administration on Sunday, June 12, will lift its requirement that international travelers test negative for Covid-19 within a day before boarding a flight to the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a rescission on Friday.

“This rescission takes effect for flights departing to the United States from a foreign country at or after 12:01am ET (4:01am GMT) on June 12, 2022,” the announcement said.

According to international reports, the lifting of the requirement that US-bound air travelers present a negative Covid-19 test before departure, ends one of the last remaining government mandates designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The requirement was introduced in December.

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

“The CDC has determined that travelers have access to tools (e.g., vaccines, therapeutics, and recommended prevention measures) and guidance that allow travelers to make informed choices about the use of pre-departure testing and other prevention measures,” the CDC says in the rescission.

The CDC continues to recommend that all travelers remain up to date with vaccination against Covid-19 and get tested for current infection with a viral test before and after they travel. However, this is no longer mandatory.

Travel industry welcomes decision

Following the announcement, the US Travel Association welcomed the decision “which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry”.

According to the association’s president and CEO, Roger Dow, more than half of international travelers in a recent survey pointed to the pre-departure testing requirement as a major deterrent for inbound travel to America.

Photo source: TSA

“A new analysis found that repealing the pre-departure testing requirement could bring an additional 5.4 million visitors to the US and an additional $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022,” Dow said in a statement.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) also welcomed the decision to remove the “damaging” testing requirement for travelers.

“It will provide much-needed relief to the embattled sector,” WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said.

“The long-term recovery of US Travel & Tourism now looks positive, with our projections showing that a fully recovered sector will create more than six million new jobs over the next 10 years. But short term, the measure caused untold damage to an already devastated sector as international visitor spending has been so low over the past two years.”

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