The Biden Administration announced today that the mandatory pre-departure testing requirement for inbound air travelers to the United States will be lifted on June 12.
Airline passengers entering the United States have been required since early 2021 to show a proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, with non-citizens required to show proof of vaccination in addition to a negative test result.
While the US airline sector has aggressively lobbied for the repeal of the pre-departure testing requirement, the Biden Administration says the decision to end mandatory tests was ‘based on the science.’
The US travel industry enthusiastically welcomed the news with the US Travel Association issuing the following statement:
“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States. 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 US travel industry.”
International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector. More than half of international travelers in a recent survey pointed to the pre-departure testing requirement as a major deterrent for inbound travel to the US
Prior to the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest industry exports. The lifting of this requirement will enable the industry to lead the way toward a broader US economic and jobs recovery.
A new analysis found that repealing the pre-departure testing requirement could bring an additional 5.4 million visitors to the US and an additional $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022.
US travel industry stakeholders advocated tirelessly for months to ensure this requirement would be lifted, pointing to the monumental scientific advancements that have made it possible for the sector to reach this point.
US travel sector thanks President Biden, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Dr. Ashish Jha and others in the administration for recognizing the immense economic power of travel and its ability to reconnect the US with the global community.
The statement below is attributable to Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio:
We are pleased that the pre-departure testing requirement has been eliminated for international air travelers who are eager to visit or return home to the United States. The airline industry appreciates the Administration’s decision to lift the pre-departure testing requirement in accordance with the current epidemiological environment.
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. We are eager to welcome the millions of travelers who are ready to come to the U.S. for vacation, business, and reunions with loved ones.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to prioritize the safety and well-being of the traveling public and to ensure that air travel policies are guided by science.