International travelers entering the United States will no longer be required to undergo COVID testing.
According to CNN.com, US President Joe Biden and his administration stated on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require visitors arriving at American airports from other nations to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The rule change will take effect at midnight on Sunday, June 12th.
The decision was made after continual pressure from firms and authorities in the travel sector, claiming that the coronavirus regulations were outmoded and causing foreign travel to stay low.
The CDC will revisit the decision in 90 days as part of the regulation modifications.
Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, told CNN that outdated testing rules were “having a chilling effect on an already fragile economy.” The easing of testing on arriving overseas travelers has been backed by government leaders on all sides of the aisle.
A hearing on “Reviving Conventions & Tourism Through International Travel” was held last week by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee. Before the event, Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Tourism Advisors (ASTA), stated that removing pre-departure testing is one of the most critical challenges in restoring travel in the United States.
In addition, more than three dozen mayors from throughout the country submitted a letter to the Biden Administration requesting the abolition of pre-departure COVID testing.
Following the announcement by the Biden administration, U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow released the following statement:
“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States. The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry.
“International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector. 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 the U.S.
“Prior to the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest industry exports. The lifting of this requirement will enable the industry to lead the way toward a broader U.S. economic and job recovery.
“A new analysis found that repealing the pre-departure testing requirement could bring an additional 5.4 million visitors to the U.S. and an additional $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022.
“U.S. Travel and our partners advocated tirelessly for months to ensure this requirement would be lifted, pointing to the monumental scientific advancements that have made it possible for us to reach this point. We thank President Biden, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Dr Ashish Jha and others in the administration for recognizing the immense economic power of travel and its ability to reconnect the U.S. with the global community.”
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