US Ends COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Inbound Air Travelers
As of June 12, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer requires air passengers traveling to the United States from a foreign country to show a negative COVID-19 test. The requirement, implemented in early 2021, mandated that all inbound travelers present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding a U.S.-bound flight. The new policy allows travelers, citizens, and non-citizens alike to board U.S.-bound flights without testing for COVID-19.
The CDC has lifted the restriction after months of advocacy from the travel industry. Lifting the mandate removes a longstanding hurdle for travel into the United States. The CDC will continue to monitor the situation and will reassess the decision in 90 days. Officials will pay attention to national infection rates as well as the emergence of new variants in making their determination. The decision is expected to relieve pressures on the travel industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association, noted the decision “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.”
Noncitizen visitors will still be obligated to present proof of a CDC-accepted vaccination prior to departure, subject to few exceptions. Individuals holding immigrant visas, for example, need not present proof of vaccination prior to departure, although they do require a COVID-19 vaccine or waiver in order to obtain an immigrant visa.
* Special thanks to Samuel Tavakoli for his valuable contributions to this GT Alert.