Since January 2021, it has been necessary for travelers entering the U.S. by air to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken within one day of the flight—but CNN has announced that this travel restriction will be lifted on Sunday at midnight.
An official speaking on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that it was no longer deemed necessary because of the science and data supporting the decision. The CDC will review the decision in 90 days to ensure that it acts according to the circulation of the virus. The official said that “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.”
Reuters reported that the move comes after heavy lobbying from the transport and airline industry and will be very welcome news as the summer season of travel kicks off.
It will also be welcome by international travelers who are already expecting a summer of travel chaos—more people wanting to travel but staff shortages and cancelled flights mean that it’s likely to be a bumpy ride. Bloomberg reported on how the travel boom coupled with strikes and shortages have left many European airports in chaos. And airlines are expected to cancel hundreds of flights over the summer season.
Countries in Europe have already dropped most travel restrictions meaning that there are 30 countries in the region where there are absolutely no travel restrictions or testing requirements for travelers at all—however, a few, such as France, still have restrictions in place.
The U.S. is still making it mandatory for most non-U.S. arrivals to be fully vaccinated. To enter most European countries, being fully vaccinated means having had a booster within 270 days of the second dose of an EU-approved vaccine.