US will stop requiring Covid testing for passengers arriving in the country by plane | World

The United States will no longer require pre-boarding Covid-19 testing for passengers flying into the country from 12:01 am on Sunday, a senior US government official told Reuters.

The relaxation was authorized after strong pressure from the airlines and the travel industry.

The administration of President Joe Biden will announce later this Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require pre-departure Covid-19 testing for passengers en route to the United States, after having determined, based on in science and data, that this requirement is no longer necessary. The CDC will review this decision in 90 days, the official said.

Since December, the CDC has required travelers to test negative for Covid-19 within a day of flights to the United States, but does not require testing for land border crossings.

“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement — including due to a new variant — the CDC will not hesitate to act,” he said.

American Airlines Chief Executive Robert Isom told a conference last week that the testing requirements were “meaningless” and were affecting both leisure and business travel.

Three people walk in a sector of the New York airport — Photo: Mike Blake/REUTERS

Airlines said many Americans are not traveling internationally because of concerns they will test positive and be stranded abroad.

Isom said that 75% of countries visited by Americans do not have testing requirements.

In December, the CDC tightened requirements for international air travelers to obtain a negative Covid test the day before their flight, rather than three days before arrival in the United States.

“CDC will review this decision within 90 days and, as with other policies, the CDC will continue to review it on an ongoing basis,” said a senior US government official.

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