Airways ask Biden to drop Covid testing for vaccinated vacationers earlier than U.S.-bound flights

A traveler wears a face masks whereas checking their cellphone on the arrivals stage outdoors the Tom Bradley Worldwide Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) amid elevated Covid-19 journey restrictions on January 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Photos

Airways and different journey trade teams requested the Biden administration on Wednesday to drop Covid take a look at necessities for vaccinated passengers earlier than U.S.-bound flights, a bid to invigorate the sluggish restoration in worldwide journey.

“Doing so is justified by the pervasiveness of COVID instances in all 50 states, elevated immunity and better vaccination charges in addition to new therapies,” mentioned an trade letter to White Home coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients, which was seen by CNBC. “Eradicating the requirement will enormously assist the restoration of journey and aviation in the US and globally with out rising the unfold of COVID-19 and its variants.”

The letter was signed by Airways for America, a lobbying group that represents Delta, American, United, Southwest and others, together with greater than two dozen different trade associations representing airways, resorts, airports and plane producers.

The Trump administration in January 2021 established a coverage requiring inbound air vacationers, together with U.S. residents, to point out proof of a detrimental Covid take a look at taken inside three days of departure.

The Biden administration in December tightened guidelines to require vacationers to point out checks taken inside at some point of departure after omicron instances surged. That change got here a month after the U.S. ended a broad journey ban on guests from Europe, China, Brazil, India and the U.Okay.

Worldwide journey demand, nevertheless, continues to lag home leisure, which helped airways get well from file losses in 2020.

The teams argued of their letter that testing necessities for vaccinated people are too onerous and deter journey. The U.Okay., beginning Feb. 11, will drop its Covid testing requirement for vaccinated arrivals.

Worldwide inbound air journey will not seemingly get well to pre-pandemic ranges till 2024, Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Journey Affiliation, an trade group, mentioned throughout a name with reporters earlier Wednesday. That’s “leaving an incredible quantity of floor to make up.”

All through the pandemic, airways and journey teams have repeatedly pressed each the Trump and Biden administrations to loosen restrictions that they’ve mentioned extended a droop in long-haul worldwide journey.

European international locations started lifting entry bans on guests from the U.S. and different international locations final spring, a transfer that wasn’t adopted by the U.S. till November.

The White Home did not instantly touch upon the letter.

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