CNN has reported a major travel announcement. Visitors who want to fly to the US no longer have to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country.
The Biden administration is expected to make a formal statement today. The new policy will officially go into effect as of midnight this Sunday.
The pandemic has rocked every facet of the travel industry. This year, more and more countries are either relaxing their COVID protocols or doing away with them altogether.
Experts anticipate a summer of hell due to “canceled flights, rental car shortages, and surging airfares.” There has also been an issue with pilot and crew shortages. People are eager to catch up on the travels they couldn’t do the last two years, but the travel world is experiencing difficulty meeting those demands.
According to a CNN article from June 1, 2022, “between Friday and Monday, US airlines canceled 2,653 flights; or nearly 3% of their collective schedules. That’s more than they had canceled for the same holiday weekend the previous three years combined.”
CNN notes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “is lifting the restriction that the travel industry has lobbied against for months after determining it was no longer necessary based on the science and data.” However, the CDC will consider reinstating the restriction if a dangerous new COVID variant arises.
For months, travel industry officials were leaning on the Biden administration to call off testing requirements. So this news is a welcome victory for them. American Airlines, Delta and other carriers are also applauding the measure. They hope that a surge of foreign arrivals to the US might help them recoup their losses. But some are concerned about what this could portend for travelers and US citizens who are immunocompromised.
Is it possible that this decision is too abrupt and too soon? Hopefully it isn’t, but time will tell.
Whatever your vaccination status, consider wearing a mask as a courtesy to others.