DestinationsThe U.S. travel industry welcomed the end of predeparture testing requirements for inbound air travellers.

Flying to the US? Covid tests are no longer needed

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Industry experts say that scrapping the testing rule would mean an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the U.S. this year.
Industry experts say that scrapping the testing rule would mean an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the U.S. this year. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Industry stakeholders reacted with relief and enthusiasm when the White House confirmed that, based on latest CDC data, as of 12th June 2022, the U.S. was no longer requiring incoming air travellers to submit negative Covid-19 predeparture tests prior to entering the country.

Organisations such as the U.S. Travel Association and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), both of which had been lobbying to lift the rule, welcomed the news.

"Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States," U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. "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."

According to U.S. Travel, the easing of the testing rule would mean an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the country this year.

Echoing Dow’s sentiments was ASTA CEO Zane Kerby. “We are thrilled to see the end of the CDC's inbound testing rule, which has been standing in the way of our industry's recovery for too long."

He added: “We commend the Biden administration for taking this long-overdue step and thank ASTA members across the country for their hard work in helping get this across the finish line. While plenty of challenges remain in terms of rebuilding the travel agency business, today is a great day."

The American airline industry had also pushed for the testing requirement to be lifted.

Airlines for America CEO Nick Calio said in a statement: "Lifting this policy will help encourage and restore air travel to the United States, benefiting communities across the country that rely heavily on travel and tourism to support their local economies."

Meanwhile, American Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Chip Rogers said the announcement was "a significant win for hotels and the broader travel industry. Lifting the requirement will make travel easier, facilitating more international visitors and helping hotels continue on the road to recovery, especially as we approach peak travel season this summer."

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