US drops Covid testing for international arrivals from Sunday

Authorities will reassess the decision in 90 days

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AP file photo
AP file photo

By Reuters

Published: Fri 10 Jun 2022, 6:47 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Jun 2022, 6:51 PM

The Biden administration has decided to drop pre-departure Covid-19 international air testing requirements effective Sunday at 12:01am after heavy lobbying from airlines and the travel industry, a senior administration official told Reuters.

The Biden administration announced on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require pre-departure Covid-19 testing for travellers coming to the United States after it determined, based on the science and data, that this requirement is no longer necessary. CDC will do a reassessment of this decision in 90 days, the official said.

Since December, the CDC had required travellers to test negative within one day before flying to the United States but did not require testing for land border crossings.

The official said, “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.”

American Airlines Chief Executive Robert Isom said last week at a conference that the testing requirements were “nonsensical” and were “depressing” leisure and business travel.

Airlines have said that many Americans are not travelling internationally because of concerns they will test positive and be stranded abroad.

Isom said 75% of countries American serves do not have testing requirements.

“We’re really frustrated and this is something that is damaging not only US travel but it just doesn’t make sense,” Isom said last week.

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