If you’ve been traveling internationally during the pandemic, then you know how stressful it can be to find local venues that administer required COVID-19 tests to cross the U.S. border – an existing Covid testing requirement. And the fear of being denied access to the country has been a deterrent in making plans to travel abroad for some Americans. Well, that’s about to change soon.
A senior official of the Biden administration revealed today that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lift its requirement for travelers to have negative COVID test results before entering the US. This new move would go into effect for U.S.-bound air travelers at 12:01 a.m. EST on Sunday, June 12.
In case you don’t remember, the Trump administration put the mandate in place in 2021, and then the Biden administration later tightened it, requiring inbound travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative Covid test before boarding U.S.-bound flights. Travelers entering the U.S. at land border crossings were exempt from the requirement.
Airlines and other travel industry members had repeatedly pushed the administration to eliminate the testing requirement, saying it discouraged people from booking international travel. Several countries dropped the testing requirements for fully vaccinated and boosted travelers to increase tourism.
The CDC will reassess the decision to end the Covid testing requirement in 90 days, according to a senior Biden administration official.
“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement – including due to a new, concerning variant – CDC will not hesitate to act,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, according to the Los Angeles Times.