International travel will become much easier.
The Biden administration announced Friday that the United States will no longer require a pre-departure COVID-19 test for entry into the country starting Sunday.
The requirement will be lifted at 00:01 ET, according to a senior administration official. The rule change comes more than a year after the country began requiring a negative test for entry, and more than two years after the start of the pandemic.
Under current entry requirements, air passengers must test negative for the viral coronavirus no more than one day before boarding a flight to the United States. The rule applies to all travelers regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, but provides exceptions for those who have recently recovered from the virus.
Should I buy travel insurance?:What you need to know before booking your next trip
US mask rules:Where are masks still required now that the mask mandate has been lifted?
The decision was made, the official said, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined, based on scientific evidence, that the requirement was no longer necessary. The decision will be reviewed in 90 days and the health agency plans to evaluate it on an ongoing basis.
If there is a need to reinstate the pre-departure screening requirement (for example, in the case of new options regarding options), the official continued, the CDC plans to do so.
A number of other countries, including the UK, have already eliminated pre-departure testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors.
The requirements for travelers entering the US by land or ferry remain unchanged: non-US citizens, citizens, and permanent residents can only enter if they are fully vaccinated. Land ports or ferry terminals do not require testing.
News of lowering restrictions well received by tourism sector
News has been well received in the travel industry that pre-departure testing requirements for international travelers bound for the US will be lifted.
US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Doe said in a statement that Friday’s news “marks another huge step forward for the restoration of inbound air travel and the return of international flights to the United States.”
“The Biden administration is to be commended for this move, which will welcome returning visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the US tourism industry,” Dow continued.
And Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement that the organization is pleased with the decision.
I contracted COVID while traveling:Here’s what I would like to know (and what I need) to get back home
“The airline appreciates the administration’s decision to lift pre-flight testing requirements in line with the current epidemiological situation,” Calio said. “Repeal of this policy will help stimulate and restore air travel to the United States, which will benefit communities across the country that rely heavily on travel and…