US drops Covid testing requirement for tourists ahead of summer

10 June 2022, 18:16

The US has lifted Covid travel testing restrictions
The US has lifted Covid travel testing restrictions. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The US has announced it will drop the requirement for travellers to test negative for Covid before entering the country.

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It comes ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer as tourists make their way abroad for the first time since the pandemic.

The mandate will expire on Sunday at 12.01am eastern time in the US, a senior administration official said.

They added that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had determined that it was no longer necessary.

However, the agency will re-evaluate the need for the testing requirement every 90 days and it could be reinstated if a troubling new variant emerges, the official said.

It is one of the last remaining government mandates meant to contain the spread of the virus.

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Since December, the CDC has required travellers to test negative within one day before flights to the US - rather than three - but did not require testing for land border crossings.

Airlines have said that many Americans have avoided travelling internationally due to concerns they will test positive and be stranded abroad, according to Reuters.

Many countries in Europe and elsewhere have already dropped testing requirements.

But the CDC is still requiring most non-US citizens to be vaccinated against Covid to travel to the United States.

The White House said Joe Biden's work on vaccines and treatments was "critical" to the development.