According to Reuters, the US Department of Commerce intends to present an updated strategy for the development of international tourism.
The publication reported that the new rules will aim to ignite tourism, which has been suppressed. COVID-19 restrictions, namely the opening of places for travel and the easing of entry requirements. Streamlining entry requirements could well include removing the 24-hour pre-departure testing requirement that has angered groups representing airlines and hotel companies.
Indeed, the US Travelers Association noted that more than 50% of international travelers surveyed in France, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Japan, and India reported a reduced likelihood of visiting the US due to this particular requirement. In a letter sent to the White House on May 31, the group pleaded with the Biden administration to lift the restriction.
“It is long past time for the Biden administration to end the pre-flight testing requirement for vaccinated air travelers to the United States,” the letter said. “While almost every other U.S. industry operates without restrictions, the travel industry continues to suffer disproportionately from this requirement, although the science no longer supports it.
The letter added that the lack of testing requirements for entry at land ports of entry, as well as the lack of reciprocal requirements in much of Europe and Asia, make the rules counterintuitive and not in line with science.
“It is time for the Biden administration to lift the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers and fully open our borders,” the letter said.
Despite the implication, the Reuters report did not explicitly state that the requirement was subject to review.
Elsewhere, the department told Reuters it was interested in promoting “a more diverse U.S. tourism experience beyond coastal states” and reducing the aviation industry’s contribution to climate change.
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