On Sunday, the Biden Administration dropped the COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound air travelers abroad. Their decision ends one of the longest-running travel restrictions of the pandemic. The restriction was established in early 2021 and tightened when Biden entered office. It required inbound travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative Covid test one day before boarding a U.S.-bound flight. And travelers entering the U.S. at land border crossings were exempt.
The change went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday (EST). Most noncitizen visitors to the U.S. will still have to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination before flying to the U.S., a White House spokesman said.
According to a senior administration official, the CDC will reassess this decision in 90 days. “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,” the official said.
The Travel Industry VS. COVID-19 Testing Protocols
Airlines urged the administration to drop the requirement. They argued it was hurting the demand for international trips, and the pandemic hit the travel industry the hardest.
The travel industry continuously clashed with the administrations throughout the pandemic over COVID-19 protocols. One of the more recent changes to the protocol was back in April when a federal judge struck down the mask mandates on planes and other public transportation. The Department of Justice has appealed the ruling.