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US drops COVID-19 negative test requirements for international airline arrivals

The US has dropped the requirement to test for COVID-19 before entry.

The change - which marked the end for international travellers entering the United States to prove via test they were negative - came on Sunday last week (12.06.22) with President Joe Biden’s work on the vaccine roll out being cited as “critical” for the change.

Kevin Munoz, the White House’s assistant press secretary tweeted that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will continue to look at the situation “"based on the science and in context of circulating variants” but they had come to the conclusion that pre-entry testing was no longer required.

This comes after many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and others, already rid travellers of the legal obligation to test before crossing their borders. Previously, the rules in the US were loosened to allow vaccinated international arrivals to show a negative test within three days before to travel and unvaccinated within a day. However, the identification of the omicron variant led to the tighter restrictions, making all non-US adults produce a negative result a day before entry.

Politicians and travel industry professionals have welcomed the decision, such as the Senator for Nevada, Cortez Masto.

The lawmaker said: "I'm glad the CDC suspended the burdensome coronavirus testing requirement for international travellers, and I'll continue to do all I can to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry.”

Six weeks ago, a federal judge ruled that the CDC requirement to wear masks on all trains, planes and buses was unlawful, a move the Biden government is fighting, highlighting it would prevent and manage future health emergencies.

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