Image Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images
The Biden administration has announced that incoming air travelers will no longer be required to submit for Covid-19 testing when they travel to the United States.
The Trump administration was the first to initiate the requirement. When Biden took over, he strengthened the policy to ensure that the virus would not enter the country.
Airlines and travel agencies have long objected to the requirement, saying that the tight restrictions will adversely impact the industry.
The Covid testing requirement is frustrating for most of the stakeholders in the tourism industry, said Robert Isom, the CEO of American Airlines. Isom calls the requirement “nonsensical.”
Roger Dow, the U.S. Travel Association president, said, “The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry.”
“International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector,” the president added.
Biden’s decision to withdraw the requirement received thumbs up from many business executives and other officials of the government.
The vice president of the Travel Technology Association, Mike Liptak, came in support of the decision saying that the removal will greatly help the tourism sector recover from the slump it has been experiencing for many years.
Airlines for America CEO has also stated support for the recent decision of the administration and expressed upon Biden that their organization will move “forward to continuing to work with the Administration to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the traveling public and to ensure that air travel policies are guided by science.”
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have told the administration that while it supports the decision, they will remain critical of developments and evaluate if the new rule is effective.
“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,” an official of the agency said.
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.