Travel Groups Again Call on Biden Admin to Repeal Test Requirement

On Thursday, over 260 travel industry and business organizations sent a letter to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha calling for an urgent repeal of the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated international air travelers.

“Stronger immunity provided by vaccinations, boosters and prior infections, as well as effective treatments to prevent the worst outcomes of COVID-19, have enabled Americans to safely return to work, schools and normal activities—all without the need for indoor masks, frequent testing and physical distancing. These factors strongly support the elimination of the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated international air travelers,” the letter reads.

While there is no longer a need, according to the groups, led by the U.S. Travel Association, for an inbound testing requirement for vaccinated travelers, the letter goes on to say that the economic costs associated with maintaining the measure are significant, with international travel spending down 78 percent compared to 2019 levels. Eliminating the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers would accelerate the return of international travel to and from the U.S. without increasing the spread of COVID-19.

The letter also states that many foreign governments with similar infection, vaccination and hospitalization rates—including the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada—have already eliminated pre-departure testing requirements for vaccinated travelers. Furthermore, since the federal government does not require negative tests for entry at our land-border ports of entry with Canada and Mexico, it no longer makes sense to keep a pre-departure COVID testing requirement in place for vaccinated international air travelers to the U.S.

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