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US Withdraws COVID Testing Mandate For International Travellers With Effect From June 12

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(CTN News) – In the USA, COVID testing prior to boarding a flight was lifted, thus ending the last restriction to control Coronavirus. The situation will be reviewed every 90 days and if a new variant emerges, the restrictions will come back into force, said an official on condition of anonymity.

Travel from many countries was banned – most of Europe, China, Brazil, South Africa, India, Iran – in order to focus on persons classified as high risk for spreading the virus.

CDC did not find it necessary to continue with the curbs on June 12, at 12.01 EDT, according to a government official.

Restrictions in the wake of Omicron

When the Omicron variant spread around the world in November 2021, the Biden administration instituted restrictions including the requirement to test a day before boarding a flight, regardless of vaccination status.

Airlines and tourism groups requested that the government eliminate the requirement for COVID testing, as it was stopping travelers from taking foreign trips due to the possibility of getting stuck overseas if they contracted the virus while overseas.

President of the US Travel Association, Roger Dow, said lifting the COVID testing rule represents “another massive step forward for inbound air travel and international travel to the United States,” as international travel remains lukewarm and domestic travel returns to pre-pandemic levels. Airlines make more money from international travel.

Approximately 24% of international air travel in May was at pre-2019 levels, according to the trade association Airline for America.

“I am glad that CDC suspended the burdensome COVID testing requirement for international travelers, and I will continue to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

In the pandemic era, the requirement to have negative COVID testing one day before a flight remains the most visible US travel restriction.

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