US to end pre-departure testing requirement – Business Traveller

Travelers will no longer need to take a Covid-19 test to enter the US from midnight on June 12, according to CNN.

CNN reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to lift the requirement for air travelers to test negative for Covid-19, citing a senior administration official.

The testing requirement has been in place since January 2021 but has been criticized by the travel industry for months. As it stands, travelers must present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within a day of departure to the US.

CNN stated:

“The CDC will reassess its decision in 90 days and if officials decide they need to reinstate it, because of a concerning new variant, for example, will do so.”

Various airlines and industry bodies have commented on the news.

Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA), said:

“As we go into another difficult weekend for business and leisure travelers, it is welcome to see the US move to end all Covid-19 restrictions. This needs to be a clarion call for all countries to remove the remaining restrictions and encourage international travel once more. All travel facilitators around the world need to help build customer confidence and deliver the traveling experience necessary for our sector’s recovery.”

A spokesperson from Virgin Atlantic said:

“The removal of pre-departure testing for international arrivals to the US is welcome news. It will boost consumer confidence even further and support the rebound in transatlantic travel this summer, with Virgin Atlantic, leading the way offering a full roster of US destinations, including our brand new London Heathrow – Austin service.

“Frictionless transatlantic travel in both directions means reconnecting with loved ones and business colleagues is made even easier, supported by an onboard policy which allows our customers and people to make a personal choice on face masks. We can’t wait to see more of our customers flying with us to the US this Summer.”

Suzanne Neufang, CEO of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), commented:

“GBTA heartily applauds the lifting of the US testing requirement which has been a remaining key barrier impacting the return of travel. It is vital to global recovery that we continue to show that America is open for business and for business travel.

“Americans have been unwilling to take the chance of being unable to return to the US at the end of their business trip or vacation. This will also help to ensure we create an easy path forward for international travelers to return to the US for business, conferences, and meetings. We’ve made progress in returning to life and business and cannot afford to go backwards.”

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