Air travelers will soon no longer need negative COVID-19 test results before departing on international flights into the U.S.
On June 12 at 12:01 a.m., the Biden administration will end mandatory COVID-19 testing for travelers on international flights to the U.S., which began early last year, wrote The Wall Street Journal. Health officials say the science and data show that testing is no longer necessary, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will reassess the decision in 90 days, according to the report.
The U.S. airlines and travel industry have been urging the White House to end the mandate, calling it an out-of-date policy that is harming the economy.
“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, in a statement. “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.”
Dow pointed to a new analysis showing 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.”
Airlines for America, whose members include JetBlue, Delta, and American Airlines, also praised the decision.
“Lifting this policy will help encourage and restore air travel to the United States, benefiting communities across the country that rely heavily on travel and tourism to support their local economies,” said Nicholas E. Calio, president and CEO of Airlines for America, in a statement. “We are eager to welcome the millions of travelers who are ready to come to the U.S. for vacation, business and reunions with loved ones.”
This year, Boston.com readers shared travel stories about how the mandate kept them from returning to the U.S. when planned after family members tested positive for COVID-19 before an international flight.
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