Federal govt. says current border measures will stay in place until at least Sept. 30

U.S. ready to lift its pre-departure testing requirement for international travellers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. is finally set to lift its COVID-19 pre-departure testing requirement for international air travellers arriving in the U.S.

The mandate expires this Sunday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. and a senior official with the Biden administration says the CDC has determined it’s no longer necessary.

The official relayed the news as an anonymous source, saying the formal announcement was expected soon.

The plan, according to the source, is for the CDC to reevaluate the need for the testing requirement every 90 days.

Calls for the White House to lift the requirement have been ramping up in recent weeks, from industry organizations including the U.S. Travel Association.

At this week’s IPW 2022 in Orlando, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow, said that while domestic travel in the U.S. is eclipsing 2019 levels, international travel is still down, by 40% as of April 2022.

Dow likened travel to “a coiled spring – and it’s going to come back much faster than anyone thinks, especially once we get some hurdles out of the way.”

Those hurdles include the pre-departure testing requirement, he said.

“It’s really important is to get rid of pre-departure testing,” said Dow on June 7. “The government is still holding on to the pre-departure testing requirement for all vaccinated air travellers when entering the U.S. And this is really an unnecessary hurdle, especially when many countries have eliminated many requirements.”

At that time, Dow noted that while economists were predicting a recovery by 2025 for the U.S. travel industry,  “I believe it will be much sooner”, especially once the pre-departure testing requirement is lifted.

With file from The Associated Press