Man checks COVID-19 test results on mobile phone (photo via SDI Productions / Getty Images)
The U.S. Travel Association is continuing its push to end the pre-departure testing requirement to enter or return to the United States.
Senior leaders from U.S. Travel Association and Airlines for America visited the White House for a meeting during which they stressed the need to end the pre-departure testing requirement for inbound vaccinated air travelers.
U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow noted in a statement that the U.S. was one of the few countries with these restrictions still in place.
“It is long past time for the Biden administration to remove the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated air travelers to the U.S.,” said Dow. “While nearly all other U.S. industries are operating without restrictions, the travel industry remains disproportionately harmed by this requirement, even though the science no longer supports it.”
Dow also pointed out the slowdown to the recovery the pre-departure testing requirement means.
“Other countries with whom we directly compete for global travelers have removed their pre-departure testing requirements and reopened their tourism economies, putting the U.S. at a serious competitive disadvantage for export dollars,” he said. “Further, since the federal government does not require negative tests for entry at our land-border ports of entry with Canada and Mexico, it no longer makes sense to keep the requirement in place for vaccinated international air travelers to the U.S. While inflation continues to soar, the administration can take an immediate step in jolting America’s recovery efforts by repealing this outdated requirement.”
Dow reiterated that there is no time like the present.
“The time is now for the Biden administration to eliminate the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travelers and fully reopen our borders,” he said in his statement following the meeting.
Recent survey data backs up U.S. Travel’s claim that the testing requirement is affecting travelers’ decisions when it comes to visiting the U.S.
More than half (54 percent) of international travelers polled said the added uncertainty of potentially having to cancel a trip due to U.S. pre-departure testing requirements would have a negative impact on their likelihood to visit the U.S.