US Drops International COVID Test Requirement For In-Bound Travel To America

by Carolee Chanona

Travelers to the U.S. will no longer need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter America. First implemented in January 2021, the testing mandate will end on Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 am. CNN first reported the imminent decision on Friday morning, with Assistant White House press secretary Kevin Munoz confirming the move by the Biden Administration later that morning.

Now, it seems months of lobbying by the travel industry has essentially paid off: The CDC is lifting the restriction “based on the science and data,” the official said. The move comes less than two weeks after leaders of the industry groups Airlines for America and the U.S. Travel Association met with officials at the White House on the matter. With the move, the CDC will reassess its decision in 90 days, and if officials decide they need to reinstate it, because of a concerning new variant or the like.

The official said the Biden administration plans to work with airlines to ensure a smooth transition with the change, but it will likely be a welcome move for most in the industry.

However, the CDC still requires international air travelers who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to be fully vaccinated before flying to the U.S.

Header shows the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas last month. Image via George Rose / Getty Images file

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