People traveling to the United States starting this Sunday will be exempt from Covid-19 tests in order to fly to the US, according to a new rule brought by the Biden administration.
With this move, the Biden administration ended one of the last remnants of the travel restrictions which were enforced during the Covid-19 pandemic to curb the spread of the disease.
The Wall Street Journal in a report said that the testing requirement is set to end on June 12 at 12:01 am.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people coming to the US abroad via air will no longer need to test negative a day before their departure, citing it was decided based on evidence from available science and data.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday will likely sign an order lifting the testing requirement, one of the officials familiar with the developments told the WSJ, but pointed out that precise details weren’t immediately clear.
The CDC will reassess the move in 90 days and will continue to do that regularly. If a more virulent strain of Covid-19 emerges, the testing requirements may need to be reinstated.
The CDC still will continue to recommend testing before travel via air and will work with the airlines on the transition.
The decision comes after several airlines displayed their frustration regarding the testing requirements.
They say that the demand has fallen along several lucrative international routes because of the requirements.
The airlines for the past few weeks have lobbied White House officials seeking an end to it.
Airlines and other travel companies feel that following the removal of the rule millions of travelers will fly to the US.
Earlier in 2021, the rule was imposed by the Biden administration to curb the spread of Covid.
Following the Omicron driven surge, the Biden administration further tightened the requirement.
This increased trouble for travelers if they tested positive for Covid-19, with many having to pay expensive bills or being forced to change flights.
A Biden administration official told the WSJ that non-US citizens would still have to show proof of vaccination to fly to the US.
(with inputs from The Wall Street Journal)