Saturday, October 1, 2022

US to eliminate COVID-19 testing requirement for incoming international travelers

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The Biden administration is lifting its requirement that international air travelers in the US take a COVID-19 test within a day of boarding their flights, one of the last remaining government mandates to stop the spread of the coronavirus. is for.

The mandate expires at 12:01 p.m. EDT on Sunday, a senior administration official said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined it is no longer necessary.

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The official, speaking on condition of anonymity on Friday to preview the formal announcement, said the agency would reevaluate the testing requirement every 90 days and that it could be reinstated if a disturbing new version emerges. .

The Biden administration rolled out the testing requirement last year, as it moved away from sanctions that banned non-essential travel from several dozen countries — most of Europe, China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Iran — and Instead the focus was on classifying individuals. The risk they pass on to others. It has come with a requirement that foreign, nonimmigrant adults traveling to the United States need to be fully vaccinated, with only limited exceptions.

The initial mandate allowed people who were fully vaccinated to show evidence of a negative test within three days of travel, while unvaccinated people were to submit a test taken within one day of travel.

In November, as the highly permeable Omicron variant swept around the world, the Biden administration tightened the requirement and required all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to be tested within a day of travel to the US.

Airline and tourism groups have been pressing the administration for months to eliminate the need for testing, saying it was discouraging people from booking international trips. Many other countries have slightly raised their testing requirements to promote fully immunization and travellers, to increase tourism.

In February, the groups argued that the need for testing was obsolete because every state already had high numbers of omicron cases, high vaccination rates and new treatments for the virus.

“I am pleased that CDC has suspended the burdensome coronavirus testing requirement for international travelers, and I will continue to do everything possible to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. , he said. a statement.

Lifting the requirement comes six weeks after a federal judge eliminated the CDC’s requirement for masks, including on trains, planes, buses and transit hubs, saying the agency had exceeded its authority. The Biden administration is appealing that decision, saying it is intended to protect the CDC’s ability to respond to future health emergencies.

The official said the CDC will continue to recommend COVID-19 testing before any kind of air travel as a safety precaution.

Nation World News Desk
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