Airlines and other tourism-related businesses urge the White House for making a plan to boost international travel

 Thursday, March 25, 2021 


Airlines and other tourism-related businesses are urging the White House to make a plan in the next five weeks for improving international travel and get rid of restrictions that were imposed early in the pandemic. More than two dozen groups stated their request in a letter to the White House on Monday.

They wrote that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 needs to be excused from testing requirements before entering the United States. They also want the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say that vaccinated people can travel safely.

The group said that this along with other steps will speed up recovery of the travel and airline industries, which have been devastated due to the pandemic.

US air travel is already picking up. More than 1 million people have passed through US airport checkpoints during each of the last 11 days, with Sundays witnessing more than 1.5 million for the first time in more than a year. However, passenger traffic still continues to remain below 2019 levels.

The organizations urging for easing of international restrictions include the chief trade group for the nation’s largest carriers, Airlines for America, the US Travel Association and the US Chamber of Commerce. The groups cited the recent decline in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths concerning Covid-19 in the United States. Nearly 45 million Americans, or more than 13% of the population, have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as per CDC figures.

The White House did not comment but referred to remarks by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Monday. “If we look at our European friends, we just don’t want to be at this rapid uptick of cases again, and that is very possible that that could happen,” Walensky said. “We are so close to vaccinating so many more people…now is not the time to travel.”

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