The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for many people to fulfill their dreams of traveling abroad. As a result, countries took initiative in closing borders while others allowed travel only if they underwent testing requirements to prove they were negative.
The United States was one of several countries that put up testing requirements in 2021 during the Trump administration, which later grew stricter under Biden’s watch.
The airline industry required travelers from abroad to present a negative COVID test from the day before their flight. People traveling by lang were exempted from the test.
The Biden administration recently lifted the requirement on Sunday, ending one of the most prolonged travel restrictions during this pandemic.
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The travel industry, particularly airlines, asked the administration to abandon the requirement, arguing that it significantly reduced the demand for international trips.
The CEO of American Airlines, Robert Isom expressed his frustration after meeting with politicians in Washington DC. He called the new rule “nonsensical” and said it would harm their business as well as other airlines who depend on ticket sales for profit margins.
The decision to remove this requirement was met with praise from several figures within the industry.
“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,” said Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association. “International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector.”
Mike Liptak, a vice president of government relations at the Travel Technology Association (ATA) made a statement about how tourism is crucial in recovering from economic losses caused by the pandemic.
The CEO of Airlines for America, Nick Calio said he is excited about this decision and looks forward to continuing their work with the administration in order to make sure air travel policies align themselves with science..
After 90 days, it’s possible that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reassess their decision to continue the dropped requirement for travel.
“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement – including due to a new, concerning variant – CDC will not hesitate to act,” said the official.
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The U.S. Lifts COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Inbound International Air Travelers