Washington [US]: The United States will drop the requirement for international air travellers to take a pre-boarding COVID-19 test, according to an official on Friday.
The mandate will expire on June 12.
White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed today on Twitter.
“US will end Covid-19 testing requirement for air travelers entering the country. @CDCgov will evaluate its need based on the science and in context of circulating variants. @POTUS work on effective vaccines and treatments critical to this, he Tweeted.
The CDC is lifting the restriction that the travel industry had lobbied against for months after determining it was no longer necessary “based on the science and data,” CNN reported citing a senior administration official.
The measure has been in place since January 2021.
The official said the Biden administration plans to work with airlines to ensure a smooth transition with the change, but it will likely be a welcome move for most in the industry.
Travel industry officials have been increasingly critical of the requirement in recent weeks and directly urged the Biden administration to end the measure, arguing it was having a chilling effect on an already fragile economy, according to Airlines for America chief Nick Calio, whose group met recently with White House officials, CNN reported.
A coalition of travel and aviation organizations in a letter urged the Biden administration to terminate the pre-departure testing requirement for US-bound travellers that are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus disease.
“On behalf of the many sectors of the travel and aviation industries, we urgently request that the Administration remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for vaccinated passengers travelling to the United States,” the organizations said in a letter.
The Biden administration in December tightened travel restrictions for US-bound travellers amid the spread of the Omicron variant, requiring a negative COVID-19 test a day before passengers depart to the United States. (ANI)