Following an announcement from the CDC, the federal government will cease its requirement for flight passengers to test negative for COVID-19 prior to entering the country.
This announcement comes following the past two years of struggles the travel industry has experienced in response to adapting to COVID-19 regulations.
“The Biden administration on Friday announced that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will no longer require U.S.-bound travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test as of Sunday. The CDC said that the requirement is no longer necessary at this time thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines and treatments,” per The Hill.
Originally, the testing requirement came into effect back in January 2021, where vaccinated individuals were not required to provide proof of a negative COVID test. However, once the omicron variant became more prominent in November, the testing requirement extended to all passengers, regardless of their vaccination status.
CNN reported that effective midnight on June 12, pre-arrival testing will no longer be required of passengers.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase, due to the widespread uptake of highly effective Covid-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States,” the CDC said in a statement to CNN.
Of course, the CDC will be keeping an eye on the prevalence rates of COVID-19 in the next 90 days and reassess as needed whether the policy needs to be reinstated.
Following the pandemic peak in January, numerous COVID-19 restrictions have been repealed.
“The Transportation Security Administration in April stopped enforcing the Biden administration’s rule mandating masks on planes, trains and other forms of public transportation after the mandate was struck down by a federal judge,” reports Axios.
Given that the large majority of the adult American population is vaccinated, the travel industry pushed for the end of the requirements to ease the pressure.
“Airlines argued that the rule was put into effect when few Americans were vaccinated,” states AP News. “U.S. airlines estimate that dropping the test requirement will mean 4.3 million more passengers in one year.”
Because of travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, airlines lost a combined total of $320 billion in 2020 and $324 billion in 2021.