The Biden Administration has lifted the requirement for travelers to receive a negative Covid-19 test before boarding international flights to the United States.
WASHINGTON – The Biden Administration announces the end its requirement for international travelers to have a negative covid-19 test within one day of their flight while traveling into the United States, lifting one of the final mandates in efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday June 10, 2022 that the requirement will end early Sunday morning. The CDC feels the requirement is no longer necessary and the health agency will continue to monitor the state of the pandemic every 90 days to determine if reconsideration will be needed if the situation changes.
“This step is possible because of the progress we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19,” said U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra.
The initial mandate allowed those who were fully vaccinated to show proof of a negative test within three days of travel, while unvaccinated people had to present a test taken within one day of travel.
In mid-April, the Biden administration removed the mask mandate for all travel including in airports, travel by trains, buses and public transportation. The felt America was moving in the right direction with containing the spread of the virus and ruled that it was up to travelers to wear masks or not.
While domestic U.S. travel has returned nearly to pre-pandemic levels, international travel — which is very lucrative for the airlines — has continued to lag. In May, U.S. international air travel remained 24% below 2019 levels, with declines among both U.S. and foreign citizens, according to trade group Airlines for America.
Many other countries already began lifting and removing their international travel testing requirements as a means to increase tourism. “The whole industry has been waiting for this announcement,” said Martin Ferguson, a spokesman for American Express Global Business Travel, which advises companies on travel policy.
Despite ending the testing requirement, the CDC said it still recommends COVID-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind as a safety precaution.