The US Travel Association continues to campaign for the elimination of pre-departure testing for visitors arriving and returning to the US.
Airlines for America, representing major US air carriers, and the US Travel Association, representing the broader travel and tourism industry, said they argued that the requirement does not match the current threat of Covid-19. They also say the requirement is hurting the US economy.
“Frankly, the only impact the pre-departure testing requirement is having is a chilling effect on an already fragile economy here in the US,” Airlines for America boss Nick Calio said in a statement after the meeting.
In a statement, US Travel President and CEO Roger Dow said the United States was one of the few nations that still maintained these restrictions.
“It is past time for the Biden administration to remove the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated air travelers to the US,” Dow said. “While almost all other US industries are operating without restrictions, the travel industry continues to be disproportionately hampered by this requirement, even if the science no longer supports it.”
Dow also mentioned the impact of the pre-departure testing requirement on the country’s economic recovery.
“Other countries that we compete directly with for global travelers have removed their pre-departure testing requirements and reopened their tourism economies, putting the US at a serious competitive disadvantage in export dollars,” he said.
“Furthermore, as the federal government does not require negative testing for entry into our land border ports of entry with Canada and Mexico, it no longer makes sense to maintain the requirement for vaccinated international air travelers to the US. triggers, the administration can take an immediate step to shake up the United States’ recovery efforts by revoking this outdated requirement,” he added.
Airlines for America said its members, which include American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines, believe the lifting of restrictions will encourage more international visitors to come to the United States.
Domestic travel was back to 7 percentage points from pre-pandemic levels in mid-May, while overseas travel was 14% below average.
For months, the industry called the regulation out of date.