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The U.S. has finally scrapped arrival tests for international travellers

The United States has finally ended the requirement that people arriving in the country by air firstly test negative for COVID-19.

The United States has finally ended the requirement that people arriving in the country by air firstly test negative for COVID-19.

The country dropped the 17-month-old requirement on Sunday 12 June 2022, in a move that followed intense lobbying by the airlines and the travel industry.

The step came as the busy northern hemisphere summer travel season is kicking off and air carriers were already preparing for record demand. 

Airlines have said many people in the US are not travelling internationally because of concerns they will test positive and be stranded abroad.

US Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that data shows the pre-departure COVID-19 tests are no longer necessary, said the official, who declined to be named.

The measure will come into effect on Sunday and the CDC will reassess the decision in 90 days, the official said.

The United States has required incoming international air travellers to provide pre-departure negative tests since January 2021.

In December the CDC tightened the rules to require travellers to test negative within one day before flights to the US rather than three days. The CDC has not required testing for land border crossings.

The official said, “If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement – including due to a new, concerning variant – CDC will not hesitate to act.”

The CDC is still requiring most non-US citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the US.

Two officials told Reuters the administration had considered lifting the testing rules only for vaccinated travellers.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major airlines, said “lifting this policy will help encourage and restore air travel to the United States”.

American Airlines Chief Executive Robert Isom said last week at a conference that the testing requirements were “nonsensical” and were depressing leisure and business travel.

The announcement follows the big news earlier in the week that the U.S has unveiled a new strategy aimed at boosting international tourism hit hard by the pandemic and government travel restrictions by streamlining the entry process and promoting more diverse destinations.

For more, head to www.usa.gov/enter-us

Via AAP