If you plan on flying internationally anytime soon, your trip may be a little less stressful. A requirement for all international travelers flying to the United States to take a COVID-19 test within a day of departure has been lifted.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined the regulation is no longer necessary, but will reevaluate the need for a COVID-19 testing requirement every 90 days, the official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal announcement.
For many, this news is welcomed. The testing requirement was unpopular among many travelers who faced the possibility of getting stuck overseas if they tested positive.
Could testing requirements be reinstated if cases rise?
Testing requirements for fully vaccinated and boosted travelers have already been lifted in many other countries in a bid to boost tourism.
If a troubling new coronavirus variant emerges in the future, the testing rule could be reinstated, according to a senior Biden administration official said.
The CDC will continue to recommend COVID-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind as a safety precaution, according to the official.
“This step is possible because of the progress we’ve made in our fight against COVID-19,” Xavier Becerra, the health and human services secretary, said in a statement Friday evening, adding that the administration “will not hesitate to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement, if needed later.”
The lifting of the testing requirement comes six weeks after a federal judge ended the CDC’s mask mandate for public transportation, including trains, planes, buses and transit hubs, saying the agency exceeded its authority. The Biden administration is appealing that ruling, saying it aims to protect the CDC’s ability to respond to future emergencies.
The testing rule for international air travelers was implemented last year by the White House as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spread worldwide. It is one of the last