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Airlines ask Biden to drop Covid testing for vaccinated travelers before U.S.-bound flights


As a result of the increased Covid-19 travel restrictions in Los Angeles on January 25, 20,21, a traveler uses a face mask to check their phone at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

Biden Administration asked airlines and other trade groups to remove Covid requirements from passengers who are vaccinated before they travel to America on Wednesday. The move was made in an attempt to accelerate the slowing recovery of international travel.

CNBC was shown a White House industry letter addressed to Jeffrey Zients. The document stated, “Doing this is justified by COVID’s pervasiveness in all 50 States, higher immunity, and higher vaccinations rates as well, new treatments,” CNBC reported. This requirement should be removed to support travel and aviation recovery in the United States as well as globally. It will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Airlines for America signed the letter, which is a lobbying organization that represents Delta, American, UnitedSouthwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, among others.

Trump’s administration January 2021Inbound travelers to the United States, as well as citizens of other countries, are required to prove that they have passed a Covid test within three days.

In December, the Biden administration tightened regulations to make it mandatory for travelers to present results from within their country of origin. one day of departureOmicron cases rose after that. The U.S. had just lifted its broad travel ban for visitors from India (China, Brazil), India, Europe and Brazil a month earlier.

Domestic leisure continues to be the most important travel destination, although international demand is still higher than domestic, helping airlines overcome record losses for 2020.

These groups argue that mandatory vaccination testing is burdensome for travelers and prevents them from traveling. Starting February 11, 2011, the U.K. will remove its Covid testing requirements for new vaccinated immigrants.

Roger Dow, the president and chief executive officer of U.S. Travel Association (an industry group), stated that international inbound travel will not recover to pre-pandemic levels before 2024. He spoke earlier Wednesday during a conference call. This is “leaving an enormous amount of ground to cover.”

Airlines and travel organizations have repeatedly asked Trump and Biden to relax restrictions they claim have contributed to a decline in international long-haul travel.

Last spring, European countries lifted entry restrictions on U.S. visitors. The U.S. didn’t follow this until November.